4-Methylimidazole, commonly known as 4-MEI, is a coloring used by soft drink makers to give their beverages that distinctive dark hue. It can be found in many popular soft drinks, including Pepsi, Coca-Cola and Diet Cola.
There was clear evidence of carcinogenic activity of 4-methylimidazole in male and female B6C3F1mice based on increased incidences of alveolar/bronchiolar neoplasms.
Exposure to 4-methylimidazole resulted in nonneoplastic lesions in the liver of male and female rats and the lung of female mice and in clinical findings of neurotoxicity in female rats.
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