Jaimie D. Travis/istockphoto


Artificial sweeteners have been linked to bladder cancer in laboratory rats. The cancer affects a mechanism in the rat's bladder that does not exist in humans, and, therefore, the FDA does not consider most artificial sweeteners dangerous for human consumption. The cautious among us are likely to avoid artificial sweeteners. That's the safe bet. However, you may be exposed to artificial sweeteners every time you drink water.

A new study from the Water Technology Center is Karlsruhe, Germany has found that most water treatment facilities cannot remove the artificial sweeteners from the water supply. It's been known for sometime that sucralose was out there mucking up our water, but a new, more thorough analysis shows that cyclamate, acesulfame, saccharin, aspartame, neotame, neohesperidin and dihydrochalcone are all out there, polluting our water. This is not good news.

Cyclamate, for example, is banned in the United States. It is legal overseas and in Canada. There are concerns that cyclamate may decrease fertility in men. All the other sweeteners are legal, but each come with a string of health concerns.

The researchers are still uncertain what effects these sweeteners have on aquatic life.

Marco Scheurer, one of the study's authors:

Due to the use of artificial sweeteners as food additives, the occurrence of artificial sweetener traces in the aquatic environment might become a primary issue for consumer acceptance.

Can artificial sweeteners increase the likelihood of cancer in fish or other animals? What is an acceptable level of artificial sweeteners in our water? Do you want to contribute to artificial sweeteners in our water?

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