Traces of drugs have been found in rivers around the world. Some levels exceed safety standards

(ORDO NEWS) — A new study has pointed to high concentrations of potentially toxic substances in rivers around the world. According to scientists, pharmaceuticals are present in more than a quarter of the world’s rivers.

A person leaves a trace. including chemical…

A new study led by the University of York, UK, examined 258 rivers around the world, including the Thames in London and the Amazon in Brazil. The scientists measured the presence of 61 pharmaceuticals (eg, carbamazepine, metformin, and caffeine). It is important to note that rivers in the 36 countries studied have never been monitored for the presence of pharmaceuticals before.

In their study, the researchers found that

– Pharmaceutical contamination is present in water on all continents

– There is a strong correlation between a country’s socioeconomic status and higher levels of pollution

– The most polluted countries and regions of the world have been the least studied (namely Sub-Saharan Africa, South America and parts of South Asia)

– Activities associated with the highest levels of pharmaceutical pollution included dumping of debris along river banks, inadequate wastewater treatment infrastructure and pharmaceutical production, and discharge of residual septic tanks into rivers

– A quarter of the sites studied contained contaminants (such as sulfamethoxazole, propranolol, ciprofloxacin and loratadine) at potentially harmful levels.

“For more than two decades, we have known that pharmaceuticals enter the aquatic environment, where they can affect the biology of living organisms.

But one of the biggest problems we had in addressing this issue is that we weren’t very representative when monitoring these pollutants as almost all of the data was focused on a few isolated areas in North America, Western Europe and China.

Thanks to our project, our knowledge of the global distribution of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment has now been greatly enhanced. This study presents data from more countries around the world,” the authors write.

The scientists also point out that monitoring pharmaceuticals is very important, as their excess can affect reproductive performance, behavioral or physiological changes, and even changes in heart rate. During the study, contaminants found at potentially harmful concentrations include:

– Propranolol (a beta-blocker used to treat heart problems such as high blood pressure)

– Sulfamethoxazole (an antibiotic used to treat a bacterial infection)

– Ciprofloxacin (an antibiotic used to treat a bacterial infection)

– Loratadine (antihistamine for allergies)

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