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: Nutrition expert discusses how research changes food policy, politics