Nearly half of the world’s rivers are contaminated with medicines
A team of scientists from the University of York (Great Britain) found that almost half of the world’s rivers are contaminated with various medicines, including prescription ones. Such outcomes have a negative impact on local ecosystems. It is reported by the Daily Mail.
During the work, the researchers took water samples in 1052 reservoirs from 104 countries, including the UK, USA, France and Australia. In almost half (43.5 percent) of the rivers, scientists noticed traces of antihistamines, narcotic, antimicrobial and pain medications, as well as antibiotics, antidepressants and other drugs (23 active ingredients in total). During the use and disposal of pharmaceuticals, chemicals enter the water and then have an adverse effect on flora and fauna.
The highest concentration was observed in Africa (river in Nairobi in Kenya, Lagos in Nigeria, Bukavu in the Democratic Republic of the Congo). The highest rates in Asia were in Lahore, in South America – in La Paz, in Europe – in Tübingen. Earlier studies have shown that the presence of antibiotics in the environment contributes to the development of resistance (resistance) to antimicrobials, which also affects humans.
In April 2022, British experts from the University of Hull and Castle Hill Hospital discovered for the first time the smallest particles of plastic (microplastic) in lung tissue taken from living patients.