• Aspartame is a popular artificial sweetener which will be declared as a possible carcinogen next month by the World Health Organization.
  • Many daily use products, not only beverages use Aspartame as a sugar alternative as it has zero calories and no bitter aftertaste like other sugar-free options.
  • The Reuters report that Aspartame is going to be marked as a carcinogen has triggered health concerns.

List of products that use Aspartame:

  1. Diet Coke Coca-Cola
  2. Extra sugarfree Mars chewing gum
  3. Jell-O Sugarfree gelatin dessert mix
  4. Snapple zero sugar tea and juice drinks
  5. Sugar Twin 1 sweetener packets
  6. Equal zero calorie sweeteners
  7. Trident sugar-free peppermint gums

What is a carcinogen?

  • Carcinogens are substances that can cause cancer to humans.
  • There are four levels of carcinogens: carcinogenic, probably carcinogenic, possibly carcinogenic and not classifiable.
  • According to the Reuters report, Aspartame is likely to be classified as possibly carcinogenic — the third category.

What are other substances possibly carcinogenic?

  1. Carpentry
  2. Traditional Asian picked vegetables
  3. Occupational exposures in printing processes
  4. Occupational exposures in dry cleaning
  5. Radiofrequency electromagnetic fields

List of substances categorised as carcinogenic:

While Aspartame is likely to be categorised as a possible carcinogen, here is a list of products that are carcinogenic to humans — which means there is enough proof that they cause cancer.

  1. Alcohol
  2. Outdoor air pollution
  3. Indoor emissions from household combustion of coal
  4. Tobacco smoking
  5. Consumption of processed meat
  6. X-and Gamma-radiation
  7. Wood dust
  8. Opium consumption
  9. Formaldehyde
  10. Ultraviolet radiation

Syllabus: Prelims