The dangers of using acesulfame potassium are associated with the methylene chloride it contains, a carcinogen that can cause depression, cancer and liver and kidney effects. However, the Food and Drug Administration regards acesulfame potassium as safe if used as recommended, states MedicineNet.
In humans, methylene chloride is known to cause headaches, nausea, visual disturbances and mental confusion after long-term exposure, explains MedicineNet. Controversy regarding acesulfame potassium use and its potential to produce dangerous side effects due to methylene chloride relates to faulty testing and the fact that only short-term studies were conducted. As of 2015, the FDA has not required further testing on the safety of using acesulfame potassium to be carried out.
The body does not metabolize acesulfame potassium, and the FDA has stated a daily intake of up to 15 milligrams per kilogram of body weight is safe based on numerous safety studies, says Drugs.com. Additionally, it is considered safe for use by pregnant women, according to MedicineNet. Acesulfame potassium was first approved as safe in 1988 and is permitted for use in approximately 90 countries. As of 2015, there have been no reports of human health problems associated with the use of this artificial sweetener, notes Drugs.com. Acesulfame potassium is permitted as an all-purpose sweetener in foods and beverages.