Benzene, the silent killer!

For the responsible, health-conscious consumer, here’s an important piece of information that bears serious consideration.



Many food and beverage products on the market contain a variety of preservatives which – on their own – are not necessarily dangerous, but in combination with other ingredients, can form extremely unhealthy, dangerous chemicals.



One such case is the commonly used Sodium Benzoate.  It’s a common preservative found in many processed foods and drinks, very often used together with Potassium Sorbate, particularly in drinks and juices.  It is typically used to control bacteria, yeast, mould and other microbes.


The problem occurs when the formulators try to enhance the nutritional benefits of the product by adding Ascorbic Acid (Vitamin C) to the product.


Sodium Benzoate + Ascorbic Acid forms Benzene, a proven carcinogen!




This is not a small thing, although many so-called experts will try to say there’s no harm at the type of level you will find in a juice product.  But there is no safe level of Benzene.  Admittedly, we are all exposed to Benzene daily due to general atmospheric pollution, we breathe it in when we smoke cigarettes or fill up our petrol tanks, but no intelligent person would knowingly drink something which contains Benzene.


“Benzene is a carcinogen that causes tumours in rodents at multiple sites, and leukaemia in humans.  Because of the unequivocal evidence of the Inspect Can Smallcarcinogenicity of Benzene in humans and laboratory animals and its documented chromosomal effects, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) considers Benzene to be a human carcinogen and it is classified in        Group 1”   

(Taken from Codex Alimentarius Commission, World Health Organisation, January 2009)


At Totally Wild, as responsible manufacturers and in the interest of the consumer , we have taken it upon ourselves to look into this further.  A local juice product was selected that includes Sodium Benzoate and Ascorbic Acid on the ingredient list, and this was analysed for Benzene by a reputable, independent laboratory in Pretoria.


This product – being sold as a “health product” –  contains 3.6ppb Benzene.


That might not sound like a lot, but when countries like Australia, Canada, the whole of Europe, and many states within the USA table a maximum permissible quantity of Benzene in drinking water as 1ppb, with WHO saying it should be ZERO, one has to sit up and take notice.  Other countries allow up to 5ppb, with no maximum limit found for South Africa.


Totally Wild and Aloe 24/7 juices can be consumed freely, safe in the knowledge that the products do NOT contain any preservatives at all and the Aloe 24/7 Juices are certified Organic.


Posted in Knowledge Base