Drugs Turning Up In Waterways Internationally

For some time now, we have been covering the media attention focused on the issue of <"http://www.yourlawyer.com/practice_areas/defective_drugs">medications turning up in waterways all over the world. The problem is emerging not only in the United States, but also in all of North America, Europe, and East Asia, reports Science Daily, citing a recent investigation published in Environmental Health Perspectives (EHP), a peer-reviewed journal, and written by Université de Montréal and Environment Canada researchers, said Science Daily.

It seems that antibiotics, antimicrobials, and antifungals are making their way into the environment and waterways as a result of consumption via human and agriculture use, according to Science Daily and the trend is not that unusual. Senior author Sébastien Sauvé, a Université de Montréal professor of environmental analytical chemistry said, “Anti-infectives are constantly discharged, at trace levels, in natural waters near urban centres and agricultural areas. Their potential contribution to the spread of anti-infective resistance in bacteria and other effects on aquatic biota is a cause for concern,” quoted Science Daily.

The team looked at published data for three types of antibiotics—macrolides, quinolones, and sulfonamides—as well as trimethoprim in East Asian, European, and North American urban wastewaters, finding increased levels in raw versus treated wastewater, said Science Daily. “Rivers, creeks, lakes, estuaries, basins, sea waters, and wells have been reported to be contaminated by several of these compounds,” said Dr. Sauvé, who noted that earlier reviews proved when such medications seep into the environment, it adds to the growing problem of microbial resistance.

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The Hard Easy video In March, we wrote about how pharmaceuticals, in addition to being found in our waterways, were found to be contaminating fish, which points to both environmental jeopardy and an additional route in which medications can work their way into our bodies. In the first study of its kind, fish studied near water treatment plants revealed contamination with seven different pharmaceuticals, including medications to treat high blood pressure, allergies, high cholesterol, and psychiatric issues, said Natural News in a prior article.

In Asia and Europe, reported the Associated Press (AP) previously, research linked factories to drugs in water that include sulfamethoxazole, another antibiotic; diclofenac, a pain reliever; carbamazepine, an anticonvulsant; an antihistamine; aspirin; and female sex hormones. In India, researchers found that an astounding 100 pounds of ciprofloxacin, another antibiotic, enters a river there—daily—from one waste water treatment plant that services dozens of drug makers. In Switzerland, drug maker Roche sponsored a study that found “0.2 percent of active pharmaceutical ingredients escape during its own processing,” said the AP. The AP pointed out that while the figure seems innocuous, when it is annualized over worldwide drug production, the amount of drugs released before dumping and human metabolic processing become astounding.

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Science Daily pointed out that the new research discussed how agricultural use of anti-infectives could increase future agricultural wastewater levels and that urban water conservation efforts could have negative effects such as a decrease in wastewater, which could lower dilution, causing higher drug concentrations in the water. “Anti-infectives might have a greater impact in developing countries, where sewage infrastructure can be lacking, over-the-counter drugs more widely available, and industrial emissions less strict,” noted first author and Université de Montréal PhD student, Pedro A. Segura quoted Science Daily.

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