Energy Drinks and the Porter Ranch Gas Leak: The Disturbing Similarities

Energy drinks vs. gas leak

After 110 days, the Aliso Canyon gas well in Porter Ranch, California was finally sealed. More than 100,000 metric tons of gas escaped into the air.

Sunny and affluent Porter Ranch, CA is about as far away as imaginable from the extreme ski slopes, clubs, and gaming dens where energy drinks have lodged a place. But the two have an unsettling amount in common.

The potential risks of chemical reactions are no secret. For example, nitrogen and hydrogen are each perfectly safe, and even necessary for life. But they also happen to have all the components to make ammonia.

Dozens of ingredients swirl together to form energy drink cocktails that haven’t been properly tested for reactions and synergistic effects. Southern California Gas Co. (SoCalGas) has claimed that the gas spewing from the well that blew on October 23, 2015 is non-toxic, yet Porter Ranch residents have recently reported a slew of health issues, including black outs and respiratory problems.

Every time humans are exposed to a chemical reaction, rigorous testing is crucial to ensure safety. Without it, we risk potentially devastating consequences. Companies wouldn’t get away with exposing us to ammonia every day. So why are energy drink companies and SoCalGas ignoring the testing procedures that keep us safe?

The Long View: What Happens After the Buzz Fades?

The Los Angeles Daily News quotes University of Southern California law professor Greg Keating as saying, “The best medical opinion is we don’t know what happens when there’s a gas leak this big for this long with these particular other substances mingled in.”

Keating was referring to the situation in Porter Ranch, but the sentiment rings disturbingly true of energy drinks as well. We don’t know what happens when energy drinks come so big, when they’re consumed so regularly, and when so many other ingredients enter the mix. The jury is still out on the combined effects of the ingredient cocktails in energy drinks.

If you’ve experienced serious side effects after consuming energy drinks, contact us immediately. You may be entitled to compensation from energy drink companies.

That’s exactly why organizations across the map are zeroing in on energy drink companies for insufficient testing. A Circadian White Paper report asserts that most energy drinks contain ingredients that are not only unfamiliar to consumers, but haven’t been properly tested in a laboratory. The World Health Organization urges more research on the substance combinations in energy drinks, stressing the fog surrounding regular consumers’ knowledge of long-term health effects. A group of U.S. senators issued a report on energy drinks that calls out companies for dodging FDA regulations and self-determining whether ingredient cocktails are safe. A Mayo Clinic study on the safety of energy drinks laments that pinning a cause-and-effect scenario to a specific ingredient is tough…and notes that the combination of ingredients may be the exact factor altering the effect.

In an industry of murkiness, one clear fact surfaces: more research is crucial—and we are entitled to it.

Different Territory, Same Deception: What Can We Do?

We’re already pressuring Southern California Gas Co. to release information on health risks related to the Porter Ranch gas leak fallout. Now, it’s time to hold energy drink companies accountable for the same deceptions. We’ve received reports of strokes, heart attacks, and kidney failure—serious side effects that potentially could have been avoided with standard testing procedures. We’re holding energy drink companies to a flame until they come clean about insufficient testing of these chemical cocktails.

The first steps to solving this problem are the same measures that energy drink companies could have taken to avoid the issue in the first place: thorough and regulated testing. It’s not enough to test each ingredient individually and claim they’re safe in combination. We don’t know a lot in terms of chemical reactions and energy drinks—energy drink companies have made sure of that. But we do know exactly what happens when we combine nitrogen and hydrogen. And we know that the risks of similar chemical reactions are too serious to chance.