Thursday, June 18, 2009

Artificial Sweeteners Remaining in the Environment, Showing Up in Water Supply

The media team at Springer Science is reporting today about a new test that has been conducted on the German water supply. Unfortunately, it has detected several kinds of chemical artificial sweeteners. It appears that sewage treatment plants fail to remove these artificial sweeteners completely from waste water.

The authors of this study say that these pollutants contaminate waters downstream and may still be present in our drinking water. This new and quite robust analytical method has discovered seven commonly used artificial sweeteners. Authors Marco Scheurer, Heinz-J├╝rgen Brauch and Frank Thomas Lange from the Water Technology Center in Karlsruhe, Germany, were able to demonstrate the presence of these contaminants in waste water. Their findings are published online this week in Springer's journal Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry.

A range of artificial sweeteners are commonly used in food and drinks, as well as drugs and sanitary products. The potential health risks of artificial sweeteners have been debated for some time. Until now, only sucralose has been detected in aquatic environments. Through the use of a new analytical method, the researchers were able to look for seven different artificial sweeteners (cyclamate, acesulfame, saccharin, aspartame, neotame, neohesperidin dihydrochalcone and sucralose) simultaneously, and show, for the first time, that a number of commonly used artificial sweeteners are present in waste and surface water.

This is a very concerning matter for those of us who do not want to consume artificial sweeteners in any form.


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