Artificial Sweeteners Persist in Water Bodies, finds Study

Artificial Sweeteners Persist in Water Bodies, finds Study

In a rather unsettling study, researchers from the University of Waterloo and Environment, Canada, have found significant deposits of artificial sweeteners in bodies of water around the world.

Did you ever think that the so- called sugar-free products that you consume, still taste sweet due to the presence of artificial sweeteners in them. These artificial sweeteners include Splenda and Sweet'N Low, products that are ingested but not absorbed by the body. Due to this, they are passed out of humans as it is, leaving a sweet taste in the mouth without any weight gain.

Once they are out of the human body, they reach the wastewater treatment plants. Here too, these complex chemicals are not broken down and they finally end up into lakes, rivers and oceans. These sweeteners could harm aquatic life as they can harm a plant's ability to perform photosynthesis. This would mean lesser food for the animals that depend on the plants, creating a domino effect, finally ending at humans.

A study conducted by researchers from Canada, tested southwestern Ontario's 300-kilometre long, Grand River. They tested the water for presence of sucralose, cyclamate, saccharin and acesulfame, different kinds of sugars. They found that the water was brimming with sugar substitutes to a level equivalent to about 81,000 to 190,000 cans of artificially sweetened soda.

Another study by Amy Parente, an assistant professor of biochemistry at Mercyhurst University in Erie, Penn, tested waters at Lake Erie’s beaches and found presence of sucralose there.

June 8, being World Oceans Day, scientists are calling for increased introspection about sweeteners persisting is water bodies.

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