Friday, July 4, 2008

Hey, Pass Me A Can of Phosphoric Acid

I found this information by typing "phosphoric acid" into Google. The internet is so handy when it comes to researching chemicals:

"Hazards Identification

Emergency Overview

SAF-T-DATA(tm) Ratings (Provided here for your convenience)
Health Rating: 3 - Severe
Flammability Rating: 0 - None
Reactivity Rating: 2 - Moderate
Contact Rating: 4 - Extreme (Corrosive)
Storage Color Code: White (Corrosive)

Potential Health Effects

Inhalation is not an expected hazard unless misted or heated to high temperatures. Mist or vapor inhalation can cause irritation to the nose, throat, and upper respiratory tract. Severe exposures can lead to a chemical pneumonitis.
Corrosive. May cause sore throat, abdominal pain, nausea, and severe burns of the mouth, throat, and stomach. Severe exposures can lead to shock, circulatory collapse, and death.

Skin Contact:
Corrosive. May cause redness, pain, and severe skin burns.
Eye Contact:
Corrosive. May cause redness, pain, blurred vision, eye burns, and permanent eye damage.
Chronic Exposure:
No information found.
Aggravation of Pre-existing Conditions:
Persons with pre-existing skin disorders or eye problems, or impaired respiratory function may be more susceptible to the effects of the substance.

4. First Aid Measures

Remove to fresh air. If not breathing, give artificial respiration. If breathing is difficult, give oxygen. Call a physician immediately.
If swallowed, DO NOT INDUCE VOMITING. Give large quantities of water. Never give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. Get medical attention immediately.

Skin Contact:
Immediately flush skin with plenty of water for at least 15 minutes while removing contaminated clothing and shoes. Call a physician, immediately. Wash clothing before reuse.
Eye Contact:
Immediately flush eyes with gentle but large stream of water for at least 15 minutes, lifting lower and upper eyelids occasionally. Call a physician immediately."


You might be wondering why on earth this matters. What do you care about phosphoric acid? You don't work with hazardous chemicals.

Just read the label on that can of pop you're drinking.

Does anyone else feel sick? 'Cause I feel like I'm going to throw up.

Here's an excerpt from "Sugar Blues," which is what got me looking up phosphoric acid online:

"The Navy nutritionist, Dr. McCay... 'I was amazed to learn,' he testified, 'that the beverage [cola] contained substantial amounts of phosphoric acid.... At the Naval Medical Research Institute, we put human teeth in a cola beverage and found they softened and started to dissolve within a short period.'
While the congressmen gaped, the doctor went on:
'The acidity of cola beverages ... is about the same as vinegar. The sugar content masks the acidity, and children little realize they are drinking this strange mixture of phosphoric acid, sugar, caffeine, coloring, and flavoring matter.'
A congressman asked the doctor what government bureau had charge of passing on the contents of soft drinks.
'So far as I know, no one passes upon it or pays any attention to it,' the doctor replied.
'No one passes on the contents of soft drinks?' asked the congressman.
'So far as I know, no one.'
Another congressman asked if the doctor had made any tests of the effect of cola beverages on metal and iron. When the doctor said he hadn't, the congressman volunteered: 'A friend of mine told me once that he dropped three tenpenny nails into one of the cola bottles, and in forty-eight hours the nails had completely dissolved.'
'Sure,' the doctor answered. 'Phosphoric acid there would dissolve iron or limestone. You might drop it on the steps, and it would erode the steps coming up here... Try it.'
'Since soft drinks are playing an increasingly important part of the American diet and tend to displace foods such as milk, they deserve very careful consideration,' the doctor suggested.
That was in 1951" (Dufty, page 178).

But since soft drinks and sugar are big business, the government hasn't done anything lasting about protecting us from such ingredients. Did you know that the FDA doesn't require ingredients to be proven safe before allowing them for consumption? The new ingredients -- additivies, chemicals, food colourings -- get put on the GRAS (Generally Regarded As Safe) list until proven they're unsafe, after all.

Who came up with this system?

I am, at this point, fairly convinced that health -- true health -- must be the responsibility of each of us, individually. If we rely solely on government agencies and research to protect us, if we buy products because of their great advertising campaigns, we are doing ourselves and our children a disservice. A huge one.

Did you know that many of the illnesses we have today did not exist a couple hundred years ago, except in cultures whose diet was saturated with refined sugar, like ours?

The way around it is proper nutrition. Whole foods -- not stripped, enriched processed foods like white flour, white rice, and white sugar -- contain essential nutrients in proper balances. The key is training our tastebuds to enjoy them again!

Just some food for thought. ;)

1 comment:

  1. This is a great article. I just noticed there is also phosphoric acid listed as an ingredient in my Hidden Valley Ranch. It truly is up to us to begin taking back control and being more aware of what we consume. Let's take care of ourselves! Thanks and keep "RE"- educating people!