Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Major environmental study finds traces of many drugs in Swedish waters

13.01.2012
High levels of the anti-inflammatory substance diclofenac are released from wastewater plants, according to a study from IVL Swedish Environmental Research Institute and Umeå University that was commissioned by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency.

– 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.

For more information please contact:
Lennart Kaj, lennart.kaj@ivl.se, tel: +46 (0)8-598 563 49,
Jerker Fick, Umeå University, jerker.fick@chem.umu.se, tel: +46 (0)90-786 93 24,

Britta Hedlund, Swedish EPA, britta.hedlund@naturvardsverket.se, mobile: +46 (0)10-698 12 08

Jan Christiansson, Swedish EPA, jan.christiansson@naturvardsverket.se, mobile: +46 (0)10-698 12 50

Ingrid Söderbergh | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins
12.11.2018 | Technische Universität Berlin

nachricht How to produce fluorescent nanoparticles for medical applications in a nuclear reactor
09.11.2018 | Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the Czech Academy of Sciences (IOCB Prague)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A Leap Into Quantum Technology

Faster and secure data communication: This is the goal of a new joint project involving physicists from the University of Würzburg. The German Federal Ministry of Education and Research funds the project with 14.8 million euro.

In our digital world data security and secure communication are becoming more and more important. Quantum communication is a promising approach to achieve...

Im Focus: Research icebreaker Polarstern begins the Antarctic season

What does it look like below the ice shelf of the calved massive iceberg A68?

On Saturday, 10 November 2018, the research icebreaker Polarstern will leave its homeport of Bremerhaven, bound for Cape Town, South Africa.

Im Focus: Penn engineers develop ultrathin, ultralight 'nanocardboard'

When choosing materials to make something, trade-offs need to be made between a host of properties, such as thickness, stiffness and weight. Depending on the application in question, finding just the right balance is the difference between success and failure

Now, a team of Penn Engineers has demonstrated a new material they call "nanocardboard," an ultrathin equivalent of corrugated paper cardboard. A square...

Im Focus: Coping with errors in the quantum age

Physicists at ETH Zurich demonstrate how errors that occur during the manipulation of quantum system can be monitored and corrected on the fly

The field of quantum computation has seen tremendous progress in recent years. Bit by bit, quantum devices start to challenge conventional computers, at least...

Im Focus: Nanorobots propel through the eye

Scientists developed specially coated nanometer-sized vehicles that can be actively moved through dense tissue like the vitreous of the eye. So far, the transport of nano-vehicles has only been demonstrated in model systems or biological fluids, but not in real tissue. The work was published in the journal Science Advances and constitutes one step further towards nanorobots becoming minimally-invasive tools for precisely delivering medicine to where it is needed.

Researchers of the “Micro, Nano and Molecular Systems” Lab at the Max Planck Institute for Intelligent Systems in Stuttgart, together with an international...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

“3rd Conference on Laser Polishing – LaP 2018” Attracts International Experts and Users

09.11.2018 | Event News

On the brain’s ability to find the right direction

06.11.2018 | Event News

European Space Talks: Weltraumschrott – eine Gefahr für die Gesellschaft?

23.10.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Peptides, the “little brothers and sisters” of proteins

12.11.2018 | Life Sciences

Materials scientist creates fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices

12.11.2018 | Materials Sciences

A two-atom quantum duet

12.11.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>