Dear Saxena ji,
Thank you for inquiry.
West facing windows can be a big source of heat, first measure which you...
What really is happening is that they are trying to kill us and future generations with all these. ...SHAME SHAME
Companies say that pesticides in their drinks are at sub-ppb levels. They say this because they want you to believe that their products are safe.
Pesticides are tiny toxins. But toxicity is not defined in terms of size in absolute terms. It is defined in terms of the extent of our exposure to pesticides through different sources and how much we are allowed each day, when we eat or drink.
Toxicity, then, is not merely about large numbers. Exposure to pesticides in small -- even tiny -- doses over time leads to chronic health effects. Many pesticides have an immunosuppressive effect: they trigger diseases like cancer and asthma. There are pesticides that are persistent: they build up in our bodies and cause diseases over time. For instance, lindane, a persistent organochlorine pesticide, detected in all soft drink samples, is a potent carcinogen. Pesticide companies market 'non-persistent' organophosphorous pesticides.But recent scientific evidence indicts this category of toxins as deadly. Chlorpyrifos, an organophosphate pesticide, is a suspected neuroteratogen. Pregnant women exposed to tiny amounts of chlorpyrifos have been found to give birth to babies with reduced weight and head circumference. This pesticide was found in all drinks we tested.
Cola companies say they are safe because milk, apples and vegetables have more pesticides. But this is twisting science.
They miss the point that there is a trade-off in which we ingest pesticides even as we need nutrition. Pesticide safety is all about ensuring that our total exposure -- through the food we eat and water we drink -- is kept within the threshold of safety. This threshold, defined in terms of the total pesticide quota we are allowed each day, is called acceptable daily intake (adi). Based on the toxicity of a pesticide, the acceptable dose will differ. The dose will also differ on the basis of weight and age. So, it may be 'safe' to ingest 0.3 mg of lindane for an adult weighing 60 kg, but a child weighing 10 kg is only allowed 0.05 mg of lindane a day, for instance.
This threshold of safety, or the daily quota of pesticide, is spread over various food commodities that people normally eat. The amount of pesticide allowed in each food item consumed is called the maximum residue limit (mrl). MRLs are the standard for regulating pesticide in food.
Now, nowhere in the world are soft drinks included as an essential part of people's diet in the pesticide threshold calculation, simply because they do not have nutritional value and, therefore, are not part of the 'poison-nutrition' trade-off. So, if any pesticide residues are allowed in soft drinks, then the entire pesticide quota calculations have to be redone in a way that our total exposure still remains within the adi. In other words, some essential food item will have to be thrown out of our diet basket. We will have to substitute soft drinks with, say, milk or apples, fruit juices or cereals. Given that the pesticide exposure of Indians already exceeds the adi many times (see 'A refreshing guide to food safety', Down To Earth, December 31, 2003), we literally have no space in our food-poison trade-off for non-essential and non-nutritive intake. Therefore, while fruit juices, which have a nutritive value, can be assigned a pesticide quota, soft drinks cannot, because they have no nutritive value. Fruit juices or fruits are part of the nutrition-poison trade-off. They are fitted into our diets.
This is the argument trotted out by soft drink companies. The fact is that safety is about setting and adhering to standards for pesticide residue in food products. Therefore, any contaminant that exceeds the standard makes the product unsafe. But in the case of soft drinks, the final product standards for the quantity of pesticides allowed have not been notified. They have not been notified because companies are fighting these standards tooth and nail. But if the final (not notified) standards are considered, these products are unsafe because the pesticide residues exceed the safety limit many times.
The bottom line is that these are definitely unsafe. No government or Aamir Khan can give them a certificate of safety. Unless they are acting.