Antidepressants, antibiotics, and medicines were involved in the compounds found, which are used to treat epilepsy and diabetes. In a study conducted by the York University team, it was found that the traces of these compounds were very low in the rivers Ouse and Foss. However, there were some talks on the long-term implications of these findings.
It was really shocking that the samples which were found in the rivers of the UK were not usually available in the country. It is estimated that it may have been brought by American and Chinese tourists.
It was observed by the researchers that as compared to previous results, these drugs were found in a much higher level across parts of Asia and Europe. They added that about a millionth of a patient’s daily dose of one drug equals two litres of river water.
In a research funded by the EU’s Seventh Framework Programme and published in Water Research showcased that in summer, higher levels of antihistamines with seasonal spikes were found. However, in winter, drugs with symptoms of cold and flu detected were highly found.
The supervision of this research was done by Professor Alistair Boxall and he stated that no indications have been found of any impact on human health because of these pharmaceuticals found in rivers, but a more proper investigation is yet to be performed.
He further added that if a proper comparison is made on the traces found in the study with the intake of the patient, then the degree of exposure is very low. He gave an example that metformin, which is a drug used to treat diabetes was found at around 500 nanograms per litre in the river.
And a person drinks about two litres of this water, then it would be equivalent to a millionth of a patient’s daily dose of the drug.
Professor also said that these drugs are in continuation to be emitted into the environment and it’s a lifetime exposure to these drugs. Due to this, there come issues that they might cause harm to human health.
This issue has become really complex with time and it’s becoming really difficult to tackle it. Also, there is a confusion that whether the long-term exposure to these low levels of pharmaceuticals matters or not. There were also queries about the influence of the drugs evidence on the ecosystem.