Water Supplies Tainted by Artificial Sweeteners

Municipal water supplies contain “significant amounts” of artificial sweeteners, according to a new study from the Water Technology Centre in Karlsruhe, Germany. Featured in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry, the study found water treatment does not remove the artificial sweeteners. Natural News writes:

Researchers from the Water Technology Centre in Karlsruhe, Germany examined levels of seven common sweeteners – acesulfame, saccharin, aspartame, cyclamate (currently banned in the US and Canada), sucralose, neotame and NHDC – using a new method that enables detection of the substances simultaneously. Analysis of the water samples revealed that up to 80% and 59% of sucralose and acesulfame remained respectively, despite treatment and advanced filtration. Acesulfame was found to be the most treatment resistant sweetener, with several hundred nanograms of saccharin and cyclamate also remaining.

Artificial sweetners remain in treated tap water

Artificial sweeteners remain in treated tap water / Photo by snap®

Prior to this study, not much research has been done on the prevalence of artificial sweeteners in treated municipal water, and scientists are concerned how they will affect aquatic environments, considering many artificial sweeteners are associated with health problems in human, such as decreased fertility and and cancer. The study’s authors wrote:

The persistence of some artificial sweeteners during soil aquifer treatment was demonstrated and confirmed their environmental relevance. The occurrence of such sweeteners in the aquatic environment may become an issue for consumers.

There is concern that over time, levels of artificial sweeteners in treated water will grow due to the “extremely slow rate at which sucralose breaks down in the environment”. Two of the seven tested artificial sweeteners are currently banned in the US.

Last year, it was discovered that pharmaceutical drugs remain in tap water, now it’s artificial sweetners. It’s only logical to assume anything that goes down our drains, whether it has been in our bodies first or not, will remain in treated water. “Treatment-resistance substances in drinking water” is a concern for all of us.

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Author: Jennifer Lance

  1. Its so hard to know what to drink these days. I doubt standard filters will make much of a difference when it comes to drugs and artificial sweeteners in the tap water and bottled water is evil (and probably not much healthier). Are there any options available?

  2. I saw your comments about sucralose (marketed as Splenda) and felt compelled to respond. Since joining the Calorie Control Council — a non-profit trade association that represents the light food and beverage industry – I’ve spent a lot of time researching low-calorie sweeteners and fat replacers. The safety of sucralose is documented by one of the most extensive and thorough safety testing programs ever conducted on a new food ingredient. This includes studying the impact of sucralose on the environment. Scientific research demonstrated that sucralose is inherently biodegradable and has no adverse effect on the environment. Over time, it is broken down by bacteria in soil into water, salt and carbon dioxide. Studies have also proven that sucralose is not harmful to plant life or aquatic organisms. For example, IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute, a leading independent research body, determined that sucralose does not bioaccumulate in any aquatic organisms. They did not detect sucralose in either fish or shellfish (mussels) and said: “Based on the eco toxicological data currently available, the measured environmental concentrations reported in this study do not suggest any environmental risks.”
    For more information, visit http://www.sucralose.org, https://www.caloriecontrol.org/sucralos.html
    http://www.fda.gov/fdac/features/2006/406_sweeteners.html, and http://www.acsh.org/news/newsID.449/news_detail.asp.

  3. Carla is correct that standard filters don’t remove drugs and artificial sweeteners in most cases. It takes reverse osmosis filters to remove these contaminants. So sad that we are polluting out world to this degree – poisoning fish, wildlife and our children.

  4. Duke University has shown that sucralose has negative effects on our bodies. Many people are stepping forward with the side effects of this insecticide (yes, you read that right – it was originally an insecticide when a research misheard TEST it… he TASTED it instead).

    Don’t take my word for it, I’m just a messenger. Research the many people coming forward and the studies not sponsored by Splenda.

  5. DAM !! It seems everything that I do to try to HELP myself is BAD for me .

    I found out that I have Type 2 Diabetes since 1999 and I switched from SUGAR to Splenda then because my Doctors told me I should QUIT Sugar and that Splenda was SAFE as a Sweetner .

    Maybe Splenda has PAID ! all the Doctors to get us Hooked on Splenda ??

    I drink 5 to 6 glasses of Lipton Tea every day flavored with Splenda !!

    And YES !! I have had more Medical problems in the last 5 to 8 years .

    Always tired , Can’t sleep Normal hours , Ringing in my Ears all the time 24/7 , more weight Gain , and more time in Bed with a Bad Back .

    Also it seems my Neuropathy in my Feet , Legs , and Left Arm and Hand is getting worse all the time .

    Are any Lawyers Sueing Splenda ??

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