Are Diet Coke Aluminum Cans Safe?

Sales Of Diet Soda Drop Sharply In 2013
Diet coke cans in a fridge in a store. (Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images News/Getty Images)

People around the world have consumed countless beverages from the convenient aluminum can, but from time to time, concerns are raised about the safety of the containers used for Diet Coke and other soft drinks. Years ago, there was concern about the aluminum itself. More recently, experts are investigating the safety of a material in can liners.

History

Diet Coke was introduced by Coca-Cola in 1982, and the company reports it is now the “No. 3 soft drink in the world.” It’s sold in countries ranging from Afghanistan to Vanuata and is known as Coca-Cola light in some parts of the world. Over the years, Coke has added a number of flavored Diet Cokes to its product line, including Diet Cherry Coke, Diet Coke with Lime and Diet Coke with Raspberry. The company declined to respond directly to an inquiry about the safety of Diet Coke cans but suggested other sources for information.

American Beverage Association

The American Beverage Association speaks for the non-alcoholic beverage makers by saying the industry “is committed to using products and containers that meet or exceed all government health, safety and quality standards.” It notes concerns about bisphenol A, but it reports that the beverage industry’s containers are safe and present “no public health risk.”

Bisphenol A

Bisphenol A, more commonly known as BPA, is a chemical used in some hard plastics and the lining of some aluminum beverage cans, and the government is trying to determine whether BPA poses any health risks. In 2008, the FDA reported that food-related materials on the market that contained BPA were safe, but the Department of Health and Human Services is conducting additional tests to better evaluate any potential health risks from exposure to BPA.

Alzheimer’s Disease

There’s a myth that exposure to aluminum might increase your risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. Some people have worried over the years about using aluminum cans, pots and pans, and antacids and antiperspirants with aluminum. The theory developed in the 1960s and 1970s, but the Alzheimer’s Association reports that there have been no studies since then to suggest that aluminum can cause Alzheimer’s.

Recycling

From an environmental point of view, using aluminum cans instead of other materials can contribute to a safer environment because they are easily recycled. The Aluminum Association reports that in a world concerned about sustainability, "no other package can match aluminum’s 60-day turnaround from used beverage container to new can.” The industry group calls the aluminum can the “world’s most sustainable package.”

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