Study: Drugs from sewage not dangerous

July 14, 2006

A Canadian study has suggested adverse effects are unlikely on aquatic life from drugs passed through human waste released from sewage treatment plants.

The study, published in the monthly journal of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, said pharmaceutical drugs consumed by humans often leave the body through urine and fecal matter and sewage treatment plants often fail to clear the drugs from the water.

The researchers found 10 acidic and two neutral pharmaceuticals in water leaving eight treatment plants across Canada's Atlantic shore. They said the drugs were not found in significant quantities in larger bodies of water but they were detectable for miles down the plants' refuse streams.

However, the amounts detected were not concentrated enough to harm native invertebrates, bacteria or plants, the scientists found.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Microbe artwork shows the limits of antibiotics

Related Stories

Microbe artwork shows the limits of antibiotics

September 28, 2015

An Oxford University research fellow has been creating art using bacteria found in the human gut and harvested from faecal samples. But while the striking colours and plant like shapes may look beautiful, they also illustrate ...

Fungi may lead to cheaper cancer treatment

September 24, 2015

Cheaper anti-cancer drugs for humans might ultimately stem from a new study by University of Guelph scientists into a kind of microbial "bandage" that protects yew trees from disease-causing fungi.

World 'facing flood of new toxins'

September 14, 2015

The world needs to prepare for a flood of potentially dangerous new pollutants, an international expert in environmental chemistry has warned.

Improving memory with a flash of light

September 14, 2015

The burgeoning field of optogenetics has seen another breakthrough with the creation of a new plant-human hybrid protein molecule called OptoSTIM1. In South Korea, a research team led by Won Do Heo, associate professor at ...

Drugs in wastewater contaminate drinking water

July 20, 2015

Both prescription and illegal drugs that are abused have been found in Canadian surface waters. New research shows that wastewater discharges flowing downstream have the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water ...

Recommended for you

Detecting HIV diagnostic antibodies with DNA nanomachines

October 7, 2015

New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV. An international ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.