MadSci Network: Chemistry

Subject: How toxic is sodium benzoate?

Date: Sat Aug 19 15:16:40 2000
Posted by Adriana Rodriguez
Grade level: undergrad School: ITESO
City: Guadalajara State/Province: Jalisco Country: Mexico
Area of science: Chemistry
ID: 966712600.Ch

Yesterday I got into a discussion with my chemistry teacher because I am 
against eating too much processed food. Sodium benzoate(C6H5COONa) used as 
a common food presevative was an example given by one of my classmates as 
something which can be toxic if consumed in large quantities. The argument 
of my teacher was that the damage by food preservatives was minimum since 
industrialized countries which consumed processed foods had a greater life 
span that countries in which people consumed natural foods. I think that 
there are many other factors which influence these statistics. I know the 
law prohibits the use of more than 0.1% of the salt in foods but that 
dosen't tell me much. Can my body get rid of C6H5COONa consumed or does it 
acumulate in my body? Can it produce cancer? What exactly do they mena by 
toxic? What part of my organism does it damage? 

Re: How toxic is sodium benzoate?

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