– This is a wake-up call that this substance and several other pharmaceuticals are so difficult to break down, says Jan Christiansson, the officer in charge at the Swedish EPA.
The uniquely large-scale screening has examined as many as 101 drugs and their levels in wastewater purification plants, surface water, drinking water, and fish caught in the wild. The study focused on effluents from densely populated areas with an emphasis on incoming and outgoing wastewater from wastewater treatment plants and the waterways and lakes that are downstream from these treatment plants. Tissue samples from fish (perch) were also included from waters downstream from two treatment plants and from two control lakes. Also included were analyses of drugs in drinking water from two cities.
The results show that many substances, including diclofenac, are released with little impact from the wastewater treatment plants . Seven samples with ten perch in each sample were analyzed, and as many as 23 of 101 drugs that were analyzed were found in these samples.
“We’re aware of the problem with diclofenac. The study shows further that there are other compounds than diclofenac that we should be monitoring and studying more closely. After all, these are fish caught in the wild, and the samples show that there are drugs that are difficult to break down, that make it through wastewater treatment plants , and that they are bioconcentrated by the fish. Since we found so many substances in the fish samples, this is something we need to look at more closely,” says Jerker Fick, Umeå University.
As the study is so broad and covers such an unusually large number of pharmaceuticals, the findings are highly informative. The study shows that 92 of the 101 drugs could be detected in incoming wastewater and that as many as 85 could be detected in outgoing, treated wastewater.
“To alleviate these problems we need to improve our environmental adaptation of pharmaceuticals compared with today. This means that producers need to take their responsibility. Moreover, the behavior of the general public plays a role. Everyone needs to return leftover drugs to the pharmacy and not flush them down the toilet. What’s more, wastewater plants need to do a better job of breaking down compounds that are hard to break down, so they don’t jeopardize our health and environment via direct emissions or via sludge from wastewater treatment,” says Jan Christiansson, Swedish EPA.
Britta Hedlund, Swedish EPA, firstname.lastname@example.org, mobile: +46 (0)10-698 12 08
Jan Christiansson, Swedish EPA, email@example.com, mobile: +46 (0)10-698 12 50
Ingrid Söderbergh | idw
Funding of Collaborative Research Center developing nanomaterials for cancer immunotherapy extended
28.06.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz
Zeolite catalysts pave the road to decentral chemical processes Confined space increases reactivity
28.06.2017 | Technische Universität München
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine