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Benzene is mainly released into the environment with the exhaust gases from internal combustion engines, but other sources of emissions also make a significant contribution to global pollution. Benzene is also an important raw material for the production of various plastics. The intake of large amounts of benzene can lead to acute poisoning in humans and even in small amounts, benzene represents a health risk that should not be underestimated, because it is carcinogenic. Food contaminations with benzene, such as those found in the past with juice drinks, for example, are therefore extremely critical. The impurities in juices were probably caused by a chemical reaction of the preservative benzoic acid with ascorbic acid (vitamin C), according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment. (fp)
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