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The Bitter Side of Artificial Sweeteners

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Sewage treatment plants fail to remove artificial sweeteners completely from waste water. These pollutants contaminate waters downstream, and may still be present in your drinking water.

A new, robust analytical method, which simultaneously extracts and analyzes seven commonly used artificial sweeteners, demonstrated the presence of several artificial sweeteners in waste water.

Until now, only sucralose has been detected in aquatic environments. Through the use of the new method, researchers were able to show for the first time that four artificial sweeteners — acesulfame, saccharin, cyclamate, and sucralose — are present in the waters from sewage treatment plants, indicating incomplete elimination during waste water treatment.

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Eurekalert June 17, 2009
Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry July 2009; 394(6):1585-94