Thursday, 13 April 2017

Possible Effects of Pharmaceuticals, Including Antibiotics, in Surface Waters

Removing Pharmaceuticals From Water Doesn't Come Cheap Or Easy:

Household Waste Disposal - Some household items shouldn't be flushed because they do break down in water. Dissolved chemicals can travel through the sewer system and pollute the marine environment...

"Surface Waters - places of invisible pollution": Pharmaceuticals are a special class of micro-pollutants - when present at low concentrations they can be potent pollutants in the environment. Humans are using increasing amounts of drugs and many of them are excreted and pass waste treatment systems unchanged to end up in surface waters. In the laboratory zebrafish are being used to investigate the effects of individual pharmaceuticals and to assess the risks of their release into the environment. Mixtures of pollutants may even have different effects, therefore cocktails of pharmaceuticals, and/or other chemicals are tested on aquatic biofilm communities to measure toxicity or study changes in these micro ecosystems. Another problem is posed by improper use of antibiotics, their discards and subsequent release into sewage systems. The development of drug resistant bacteria, pose a serious risk to human health.

[Posted at the SpookyWeather blog, April 13th, 2017.]

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