It’s a hidden global change: away from the public eye, residues of medicines in water have been causing increasing disruption. They can kill aquatic animals, and play havoc with their food web and reproductive cycle. An international team of researchers led by the NIOO makes an urgent case for better wastewater treatment and biodegradable pharmaceuticals.
Algae that are becoming far less edible for water fleas and fish, leaving them to starve. Aquatic animals undergoing unwanted sex changes. And fish on their annual run struggling to locate their spawning ground. These are some of the disruptive effects of pharmaceutical residues on the aquatic environment.
“Chemical substances from pharmaceuticals wreak havoc on underwater chemical communication”, says the head of the NIOO’s department of Aquatic Ecology, Ellen van Donk. She’s been heading a team of Dutch, German and US researchers, who take stock of the problem in the next issue of Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. “The effects are becoming more and more visible in lakes and ponds worldwide, if you know what to look for.”
Unnoticeable to most people, there’s an endless stream of ‘chatter’ going on below the water’s surface. Most of that chatter takes the form of infochemicals: chemical substances released by aquatic plants and animals that travel through the water. Just think of the scent of a water flea that is picked up by a fish.
Aquatic organisms depend on this intricate ‘smellscape’ of information to locate mates and food, and to steer clear of natural enemies. But even low concentrations of pharmaceutical compounds can have a huge impact. “Some of these substances may closely resemble natural infochemicals”, explains Van Donk, “so they may unintentionally trigger a similar reaction. Or they could do just the opposite and block vital communications.”
Ever larger amounts of pharmaceutical residues, such as female hormones from the contraceptive pill, have been finding their way into the water – through urination by humans and livestock. These residues are not easily biodegradable, and sewage treatment plants are not equipped to remove them.
“There are no hard figures”, says Van Donk, “but surface water measurements suggest that concentrations of residues from hormones, anti-depressants and painkillers have in fact increased substantially.”
The best way to fight this insidious global change, according to Van Donk and her team, is to find more effective wastewater treatment methods. “In addition, we should look at how pharmaceuticals can be processed better by the human body.” It may, for instance, be possible to make pharmaceuticals biodegradable or to absorb them completely.
“At the NIOO, we have been experimenting with an alternative wastewater treatment method that makes use of micro-organisms and algae”, adds Van Donk. “This method is allowing us to recycle valuable so-called ‘waste’ materials, and we’re now investigating if it could also help us break down pharmaceutical residues more successfully.”
Read more: Pharmaceutical residues increasingly disrupt aquatic life
The Latest on: Pharmaceutical residues
[google_news title=”” keyword=”Pharmaceutical residues” num_posts=”10″ blurb_length=”0″ show_thumb=”left”]
via Google News
The Latest on: Pharmaceutical residues
- Philipsburg woman charged with delivering the drugs responsible for man’s fatal overdoseon June 2, 2023 at 4:48 pm
A Philipsburg woman faces drug delivery resulting in death charges after a 26-year-old man’s overdose death in April. Shianna Lambert, 24, and another woman were at a Spring Township house just after ...
- Grand Forks woman charged with fentanyl trafficking, other drug crimes plans to change her pleaon June 1, 2023 at 7:21 am
Upon entering the hotel room, the GFNTF saw “a possible snort tube or scoop with [drug] residue,” the affidavit says. Later that day, the GFNTF executed a search warrant on the room and seized ...
- How To Pass A Hair Follicle Drug Test In 2023on May 31, 2023 at 9:02 am
It is generally used to remove drug residues from the hair shaft, such as THC.The major ingredient in the shampoo is aloe vera, a plant known for its healing and rejuvenating characteristics.
- Old Style Aloe Toxin Rid Shampoo Review: Best Hair Detox Shampoo?on May 31, 2023 at 8:49 am
The method involves using a combination of different products, including salicylic acid, vinegar, and a specialized shampoo, to open up the hair cuticle and remove any drug residue. It’s ...
- Researchers reveal drug resistance mechanism of pathogen Staphylococcus aureuson May 31, 2023 at 7:46 am
Recently, a research team led by Prof. Sun Baolin from the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC) revealed the mechanism of transcriptional regulation via S-nitrosylation for vancomycin ...
- Minnesota passes major drug changes, from psychedelics task force to legalizing paraphernaliaon May 30, 2023 at 12:52 pm
The state's new drug policies reach far beyond legalizing marijuana. Volunteers put together naloxone kits at the nonprofit headquarters for the Steve Rummler HOPE Network in this . From studying ...
- Drug gang jailed thanks to CCTV footage from dealer's houseon May 28, 2023 at 2:37 am
Incriminating evidence' recorded on a drug dealer's home CCTV system gave police in Rochdale a good insight into his gang's operation.
- Grand jury accuses Kentucky doctor of illegally distributing amphetamine drugon May 26, 2023 at 10:42 am
A Kentucky doctor has been charged with illegally distributing drugs. A federal grand jury indicted Jason N. Stamper, a Pikeville psychiatrist, Thursday on four counts of distributing and dispensing ...
- Minnesota to legalize possession of drug paraphernalia, even if it has residueon May 22, 2023 at 9:34 am
Minnesota lawmakers passed a mammoth public safety budget bill that included little-noticed provisions that will legalize possession of drug paraphernalia and any drug residue that might be in it.
- Alfa Laval's membrane technology enables compliance with EU's revised 'Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive'on May 22, 2023 at 1:55 am
However, this 30-year-old directive does not address pollution caused by storm water overflows or micropollutants such as residues from pharmaceuticals and cosmetics - which have a detrimental ...
via Bing News