The River Clyde has been named the ‘most contaminated’ by pharmaceuticals in the UK in a new study.
The University of York study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), looked at the pollution of rivers around the world by medicinal chemicals such as pharmaceutical drugs.
The study looked at 54 sampling sites across 12 rivers in the UK, detecting pharmaceuticals at all but four sites. The River Clyde was found to be the most contaminated site in the UK.
Project co-lead Dr John Wilkinson, University of York, said: “We have known for more than two decades now that pharmaceuticals enter the aquatic environment where they can affect the biology of living organisms. .
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“But one of the biggest problems we’ve faced in solving this problem is that we haven’t been very representative when monitoring these contaminants, with almost all of the data concentrated in a few select areas in America. Northern, Western Europe and China.
“Thanks to our project, our knowledge of the global distribution of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment has improved considerably.”
The study found that potentially toxic levels of pharmaceutical drugs at a quarter of river sites surveyed across the world, with researchers surveying more than 1,000 sites on 258 rivers, including the Clydelike the Thames and the Brazilian Amazon.
The assessment measured the presence of 61 pharmaceuticals, including some compounds also linked to lifestyles such as caffeine, and whether they were above levels where they could have an effect on the environment.
The analysis revealed pharmaceutical pollution in rivers on every continent, with nicotine and cotinine, caffeine and paracetamol everywhere, including Antarctica, while an array of chemicals such as beta – Blockers, antibiotics, antidepressants, sleeping pills and antihistamines have been found in rivers in all populated areas. continents.