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When we take a drug, a portion sometimes passes through us intact and goes down the toilet. But as most medications are not removed during sewage treatment, they often end up in waterways.

To find out if pharmaceutical waste then finds its way into aquatic creatures, Erinn Richmond at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia and her colleagues sampled flies, beetles, spiders and other insects from six waterways in the greater Melbourne region. The sites varied from a treated sewage run-off stream to a river in a national park.

The researchers detected 69 medications in the insects, including antidepressants, painkillers, antibiotics, and blood pressure-lowering agents. The highest levels were found in insects near wastewater plants, but low levels were also detected in those from more pristine areas.

…continue reading ‘More Than 60 Prescription Drugs Are Getting into River Foodchains’

Image: By Sickter6 – In Vermont, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=35638837

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New Scientist

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