Do you even know how many drinks you've consumed that contain flame retardant? (Or an "ingredient linked to flame retardant." Close enough.)
But silver lining, Coca-Cola will now remove brominated vegetable oil—a chemical that Scientific America says was patented as a flame retardant—from their sports drinks. So you don't have to drink flame retardant anymore. Yay.
A Coca-Cola spokesperson told Time that BVO "improve[s] stability and prevent[s] certain ingredients from separating." But excess bromine has also been linked to select cases of skin lesions, memory loss, and nerve disorders, with large amounts building up in the body and causing other toxic effects.
BVO is found in about 10 percent of sodas in the U.S., including Mountain Dew, flavors of Fanta and Sunkist, and, until last year, Gatorade. It is banned in food in Europe and Japan.
There's a pretty impressive story behind the change too: A teenager from Mississippi, Sarah Kavanagh, was behind the Change.org petition that finally got these companies to listen up. Last year, she was the reason PepsiCo removed BVO from Gatorade, and she's done it again.
"It is so wrong to be selling something like that to a bunch of kids anywhere! What are these companies thinking? I don't want anyone in my family touching that stuff," Sarah wrote with the campaign.
And she's add a victory message to the page:
"Thanks to the people who signed my petition on Change.org, I'm glad to know the Powerade sold at my school and consumed by people around the world will be a little bit healthier without BVO in it. I knew that if Gatorade could do the right thing, so could Powerade."
Wonder what terrifying thing that we've all been consuming Sarah will tackle next...