TORONTO — Scientists have found artificial sweeteners like Splenda and Sweet’N Low in rivers and lakes around the globe, according to

The substances are not absorbed or broken down by the human body, so they go through humans and into the water, noted the article. Wastewater treatment plants cannot break down the chemicals either.

University of Waterloo and Environment Canada researchers discovered high amounts of artificial sweeteners in Ontario’s Grand River, which empties into Lake Erie, stated the article. They found the equivalent of “about 81,000 to 190,000 cans of artificially sweetened soda flowing through the 300-kilometer river each day.” Sucralose, cyclamate, saccharin and acesulfame were included in the study’s tests.

The sweeteners’ effects are largely unknown, reported the article, but other researchers believe people should remain diligent about the substances since they could cause harm to wildlife like snails and plants.

Scientist John Spoelstra said in the article that more research is needed on the subject before determining the full impact on aquatic life, stated the article.

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