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Saccharin

General Description

  • Synonyms: benzo-sulphinide; 1,2-benzisothiazol-3(2H)-one, 1,1-dioxide; garantose; saccharine
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: S226
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 81-07-2
  • Chemical Description and Physical Properties:
    • white crystalline powder with sweet taste and slight odor
    • molecular weight: 183.19
    • molecular formula: C7H5NO3S
    • boiling point: 299

Health Factors

  • Carcinogenic Classification:
  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of skin; at very high levels: loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea; in male rats: bladder cancer
  • Affected Organs: Skin
  • Notes:
    1. Reclassification of saccharin by the IARC from Group 2B (possibly carcinogenic to humans) to Group 3 has remained controversial.
    2. Saccharin is permitted by the FDA for use as a sweetener in amounts up to 12 milligrams per fluid ounce or up to 30 milligrams per designated serving size in processed foods (21 CFR 180.37)
    3. The measurement of saccharin in urine has been proposed as a biomarker of dietary exposure.
  • Literature Basis:
    • Bell, W., et al.: Carcinogenicity of saccharin in laboratory animals and humans: letter to Dr. Harry Conacher of Health Canada. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health 8(4): 387-393, 2002.
    • Huff, J.: IARC monographs, industry influence, and upgrading, downgrading, and under-grading chemicals: a personal point of view. International Agency for Research on Cancer. Int. J. Occup. Environ. Health 8(3): 249-270, 2002.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Saccharin. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 2. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 2010-2011.
    • Wilson, L.A., Wilkinson, K., Crews, H.M., Davies, A.M., Dick, C.S. and Dumsday, V.L.: Urinary monitoring of saccharin and acesulfame-K as biomarkers of exposure to these additives. Food Addit. Contam. 16(6): 227-238, 1999.

Date Last Revised: 10/25/2005

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