That is, the researchers turned to an artificial sweetener called aspartame potassium, which is the compound in Equal. Aspartame potassium isn’t broken down in the body and is excreted in urine, according to the study. Many compounds in urine can react with compounds in swimming pools, such as disinfectants, and form “disinfection byproducts.” Some studies suggest that these byproducts may be harmful to human health, though it’s unclear if coming into contact with them in a swimming pool is dangerous, the researchers wrote.
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