Phosphoric Acid Dangers and Alternatives

Phosphoric acid is an important component in many household products used to clean, deodorize and freshen up. Although this chemical has proven its safety in daily life, some individuals still express concern about the potential dangers of phosphoric acid exposure. This blog post will explore these concerns and identify alternatives that may be safer for personal use.

Phosphoric acid is a chemical compound that is used in many products. It can be found in detergents, toothpaste, cleaners, and even in food. But the dangers of phosphoric acid are not well known. So the “phosphoric acid skin burn treatment” has been created to help treat skin burns caused by exposure to this chemical.

Have you ever had phosphoric acid in your system? Yes, very certainly — but what is it?

This acid is used as a rust inhibitor, a dental and industrial etchant, a fertilizer feedstock, and a component of household cleaning products.

So, what did you think when you ate such a thing? Because it’s often used to provide a sour taste to soda and other processed foods and drinks.

It’s a transparent, odorless chemical that’s widely used in colas. It intensifies the taste while also slowing the development of germs and molds that would otherwise thrive in the sugary beverage.

You may already be aware that soda and diet soda have several health risks, but you may not know the prevalent health-hazardous acid included in many drinks. For starters, phosphoric acid use might result in various unpleasant side effects, including diarrhea, stomach cramps, nausea, and vomiting, to name a few.

What Is Phosphoric Acid and How Does It Work?

Phosphoric acid is an inorganic mineral acid that is colorless and odorless.

H3PO4 is the chemical formula for phosphoric acid. Therefore, orthophosphoric acid is another name for it.

It may be a liquid or a translucent crystalline solid, both of which are highly corrosive to metals and human flesh.

Other interesting facts regarding this acid (particularly for science buffs):

  • The pH of phosphoric acid is 1.5
  • The density of phosphoric acid = 1.8741
  • The boiling point of phosphoric acid is 316.4°F (158°C).
  • Charge of phosphoric acid Equals 0

What is the purpose of phosphoric acid in coke and other consumables? It’s popular among food and beverage makers since it’s inexpensive, provides tartness, and serves as a preservative.

The food industry continues to use phosphate additions in foods that, if left alone, would be low in phosphorus. Because of manufacturer additions, bottled iced black tea, for example, might become a high phosphate beverage.

Dark-colored sodas like colas often include more phosphoric acid than other drinks in processed meals containing phosphoric acid. This acid may be found in up to 500 milligrams per soda container.

Root beer is an example since it is dark in color yet contains very little of this acid.

Why do food and beverage companies employ this chemical in the first place? They utilize it to provide a stronger, tangier taste to their processed foods.

It also functions as a preservative.

Phosphoric acid has a wide range of applications. Cola drinks, bottled and canned iced teas, bottled and canned coffee beverages, morning cereal bars, non-dairy creamers, and enhanced poultry and beef items all include this chemical.

It is permissible to use phosphoric acid in food and beverages. According to the US Food and Drug Administration, it may also be used to modify the pH levels of processed cheeses and other dairy products.

On ingredient labels, look for these alternate names for phosphoric acid:

  • e338
  • phosphoric acid (orthophosphoric acid)
  • acid phosphoric(V)
  • pyrophosphoric acid is a kind of phosphoric acid.
  • triphosphoric acid is a kind of phosphoric acid.
  • o-Phosphoric acid o-Phosphoric acid o-Phosphoric
  • phosphate of hydrogen

While phosphoric acid has a wide range of applications, scientific evidence suggests that intake of this acid may have various negative health effects.

Health Risks

1. Reduces bone density

Phosphoric acid has been associated with reduced bone density in people in studies. In a research published in 2000, cola beverage consumption was connected to a higher prevalence of bone fractures in physically active females in ninth and tenth grades.

Another research published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition theorized that drinking colas with caffeine and phosphoric acid cause bone mineral density to decline (BMD). The researchers assessed BMD in the spine and hips of 1,413 women and 1,125 men.

They discovered that cola consumption was linked to reduced BMD in the hips but not the spine in women. Overall, those who consumed more than one serving of cola per month had a lower BMD at the femoral neck (the bridge of bone that connects the ball of your hip to the top of your femur) and a 5.4 percent lower BMD at Ward’s area (a region of the neck) than those who consumed less than one serving per month.

Diet cola drinking had comparable outcomes, as did decaffeinated cola consumption; however, the latter yielded lesser results. According to the researchers, there was no link between non-cola carbonated beverage intake and BMD.

The research concludes that cola intake is linked to reduced bone mineral density, particularly in women.

The fact that non-cola drinks had no effect on bone density and that even decaffeinated cola had a negative effect suggests that phosphoric acid is the enemy of bone health.

2. Kidney Issues

Urinary alterations, chronic kidney disease, and kidney stones have all been related to the intake of phosphoric acid-rich cola drinks. In addition, excess phosphoric acid may be stressful on the kidneys, particularly for those with chronic renal disease who are often recommended to avoid high-phosphorus meals.

Phosphorus is naturally present in many foods, so we don’t have a hard time obtaining enough of it, but it may become an issue if we consume too much of it. Phosphoric acid, which is present in colas and other processed foods, is dangerous since it may quickly lead to excess phosphorus in our bodies.

The eating habits of 465 persons with chronic renal disease and 467 healthy adults were compared in a research published in the journal Epidemiology.

What did the researchers discover? Drinking two or more colas per day, regular or diet was linked to a twofold increase in the risk of chronic kidney disease.

3. Reduces the number of nutrients in the body

Most individuals may easily achieve their daily phosphorus requirements via their diets, particularly if they eat phosphorus-rich foods. Having too much phosphorus in the body is more prevalent than having too little.

This is why swallowing “hidden phosphorus” is so dangerous, because phosphoric acid is one of the most common sources of hidden phosphorus.

Excess phosphorus in the diet may lower calcium levels in the body, and research has even connected regular cola drinking to hypocalcemia.

Furthermore, it may cause excess phosphorus, impairing your body’s ability to use essential minerals like iron, magnesium, and zinc. Deficiencies in any of these nutrients may result in various health issues.

4. Increases the acidity of the body

Phosphoric acid is used to acidify foods and drinks in the food industry.

Is acid harmful to your health?

Many acids may be beneficial (such as omega-3 fatty acids), but phosphoric acid is not one of them.

Cola drinks are particularly acidic due to the presence of phosphoric acid. According to a research conducted by the Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine, today’s top three most acidic soft drinks are all colas.

Do you know what Coke’s pH is?

Coke products have a pH ranging from 2.5 to 4.2. Coke Classic, with a pH of 2.5, is the most acidic Coke product.

To put these values in context, a pH of 7 is neutral, while a pH of 0 is the most acidic, which is why you should avoid cola.

5. Causes Tissue Damage

Phosphoric acid is used in the cleaning and refining of metals and the production of fertilizers. Disinfectants and detergents include it as well.

With such applications, it’s no surprise that this acid often appears on lists of “strong acids” or industrial chemicals that may inflict chemical burns.

It’s also widely used to get rid of rust. Even as a low-cost phosphoric acid cleaning, cola drink is often suggested!

What can this acid do to our insides to eliminate rust from metal?

What’s remarkable is that this chemical would be used in anything that comes in touch with our body, particularly our internal organs.

There are several well-known potential phosphoric acid risks or problems.

Phosphoric acid is a caustic substance that may irritate and burn the eyes and skin. It may also cause wheezing and coughing by irritating the nose, throat, and lungs.

“Phosphoric acid may harm the body if it is breathed or comes into contact with the eyes or skin,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). If consumed, it may cause harm to the body.”

It’s also worth noting that the phosphoric acid used in food and drinks is made using the same manufacturing method, which includes metal treatment, refractories, and catalysts.

Is It Possible to Consume It?

According to the FDA, phosphoric acid is “generally regarded as safe when used in conformity with a good manufacturing practice.”

According to a scientific assessment published in 2015, the proportions used in food and drinks now are deemed safe:

The use of phosphoric acid is contentious since it has been linked to negative health consequences. Hyperphosphatemia, or high amounts of phosphorus in the blood, may cause organ damage, particularly to the kidneys. Poor renal function may cause phosphorus levels in the blood to rise, lowering calcium levels and raising the risk of brittle bone disease. Furthermore, higher blood phosphorus levels and other mineral imbalances may all contribute to vascular calcification and cardiovascular disease, both individually and together.

Can this sort of acid be eaten as a food and beverage ingredient with no noticeable negative side effects? Sure.

Can phosphoric acid supplementation create issues for certain people? Yes!

Recipes and healthier alternatives

Phosphoric acid is primarily consumed via sodas, notably colas. Clear sodas, such as ginger ale, may help you cut down on your sugar consumption, but they’re still high in sugar, and there are healthier alternatives to these health-hazardous soft beverages.

If you really need a hit of bubbles, go for a naturally sparkling mineral water that provides carbonation without any added acids (read the labels to be sure) — plus, you’ll receive some minerals in your system without going overboard on sugar.

You may also try making switchel at home using my recipe. This easy-to-make, refreshing drink is packed with restorative nutrients, including inflammation-fighting ginger and apple cider vinegar.

Another great soda substitute is kombucha. You receive a potent punch of probiotics, B vitamins, and enzymes, as well as the effervescent bubbles that come from natural fermentation. Coconut water is a healthier alternative to soda that also contains important electrolytes.

Last Thoughts

  • What is phosphoric acid, and how does it work? It’s an inorganic mineral acid that’s often employed as a preservative and flavor enhancer in food and beverage production.
  • One of the most common items containing this acid is cola soda.
  • This dubious preservative may also be found in various other ultra-processed foods and beverages, so check labels carefully. It’s even found in certain cheese and meat items.
  • It’s difficult not to be concerned about what phosphoric acid or a cola beverage containing it may do to your health when you see how easily it removes rust from metal.
  • Phosphoric acid may cause a loss in bone density and nutritional absorption (particularly in youngsters and the elderly) and an increase in the risk of chronic renal disease and internal acidity. All of this adds up to a deadly disease-promoting concoction.
  • Colas are often the most difficult for many people to give up of all the foods and beverages that contain this acid. Still, there are so many better options that taste fantastic and really enhance your health rather than ruin it.

Frequently Asked Questions

What can replace phosphoric acid?

A: The only option is to replace it with a similar chemical that does not have the same reaction as phosphorus.

What are the dangers of phosphoric acid?

A: Phosphoric acid is an inorganic chemical compound produced as the hydrolysis product of phosphates (polyphosphate) and hydrogen chloride. The most important use for this acid is to manufacture fertilizers, including superphosphate, which can increase the level of available phosphorus in soils, pastures, and plants from rock phosphate deposits or seawater.

Is phosphoric acid environmentally friendly?

A: Phosphoric acid is a popular chemical that can be found in household products such as soap, laundry detergent, and food preservatives like pickles. It is also used to make fertilizers because it helps plants grow faster than they would without it. However, phosphoric acid does have some negative environmental effects when released into the air or if you spill a lot of the material on your skin. The EPA says that one way to reduce these effects is by using local renewable energy sources for manufacturing instead of non-renewable fossil fuels.

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