Tag Archive for 'pharmaceuticals in water'

Traces Of Anxiety Drugs May Make Fish Act Funny

Photo retrieved from: www.npr.org

“The water is likely to be considerably cleaner upstream and downstream from the sewage plant where the Swedish perch were captured.

Adding more uncertainty in this case: Benzodiazepines have been used for decades in Sweden, so they have no doubt been in this aquatic ecosystem for many years.

“These fish may have adapted to that,” Schlenk says.

Scientists now realize that low levels of pharmaceuticals have spread through the environment. For instance, Schlenk has found a Valium-like drug in the hornyhead turbot, a fish that lives on the seafloor off the California coast. Other lab studies have shown that human drugs can affect the behavior of striped bass and other species.

These drug traces don’t pose an obvious threat to people, who might drink water from streams or eat the fish that live in them.

“The presence of pharmaceuticals in surface waters — or even the residues that accumulate in edible in fish and shellfish — are much lower than what you might need to gain a therapeutic dose,” says Bryan Brooks of Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

But, he cautions, that isn’t necessarily the case in the developing world.”

“Some of the observations in India, for example, downstream of manufacturing facilities, are among the highest concentrations of pharmaceuticals reported in the environment,” he says. “So the developing world really deserves some additional attention.”

Read more: NPR

Sedated Shrimp In British Waters

Photo retrieved from: www.treehugger.com

“Drugs are partially broken down in the treatment process but what we are realizing now is that a lot more gets through than we thought. The treatment plants weren’t designed to break down medicines so some inevitably get concentrated [and] released into streams or onto beaches. Effluent is concentrated in river estuaries and coastal areas, which is where shrimps and other marine life live – this means that shrimps are taking on the excreted drugs of whole towns.

The research team tested the prawns by exposing them to the same level of prozac found in British waters and found that while prawns normally find sanctuary in dark places, these sedated shrimp were five times more likely to swim towards the light becoming more vulnerable to predators. The effects of other pharmaceuticals like hormones, pain relievers, and heart medicine are still unknown.”

Read more: Treehugger

Pharmaceutical Waste Seeping into Environment

U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technicians collect a stream sample from Hallocks Mill Brook downstream of the outfall of one of the wastewater treatment plants investigated. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

U.S. Geological Survey hydrologic technicians collect a stream sample from Hallocks Mill Brook downstream of the outfall of one of the wastewater treatment plants investigated. Credit: U.S. Geological Survey.

“Muscle relaxants, opioids, and other pharmaceuticals are leaking into the environment at two wastewater plants in New York, a new study has revealed.

“Water entering the streams from two wastewater treatment plants that are supposed to break down pharmaceutical manufacturing waste had concentrations of pharmaceuticals between 10 to 1,000 times higher than water released into the environment from 24 other plants across the nation that do not receive pharmaceutical waste, according to the study, which is detailed in the June 4 edition of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.

“I don’t think anyone ever thought we’d see these concentrations in streams,” said study author Patrick Phillips of the U.S. Geological Survey.

“The study is the first in the United States to assess the environmental impact of wastewater treatment plants that process waste from drug manufacturing facilities. Pharmaceuticals were found at drinking water reservoirs as far as 20 miles (30 kilometers) downstream of one of the treatment plants that receives at least 20 percent of its waste from pharmaceutical manufacturers.”

read more: LiveScience