Medications Detected in Treated Montreal Waste Water
We often hear that ‘one man’s cure may be another’s poison’. This may be true not just among people, but between humans and the environment he lives in.
A study funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the St. Lawrence Action Plan and Health Canada’s Chemicals Management Plan on the St. Lawrence River downstream from the sewage treatment facility in Montreal found traces of medication in the water.
Conducted by researchers from the University of Montreal, the study found quantities of high blood pressure and cholesterol drugs in water samples which were taken half a kilometer from where treated wastewater from the sewage facility flowed into the river.
Although the quantities are minimal, there is no knowledge yet about how this build up will affect the environment according to Prof. Sebastien Suave, an environmental chemist who led the study. They are nevertheless not taking these observations lightly as it shows that there may be a buildup of compounds and pathogens in the environment because sewage processing systems fail to neutralize them.
The team tested for the presence of five different drugs, which included two kinds of chemotherapy drugs that are known to be highly toxic and carcinogenic, cholesterol drugs statin and bezafibrate, and the hypertension medication enalapril.
With the exception of statin, the team found traces of drugs in the waste water entering the treatment facility. After treatment, only the chemotherapy drugs were no longer present in water samples taken downstream. Bezafibrate and enalapril were still present. Other studies have reportedly also found traces of antidepressants, estrogen and antibiotics in bodies of fresh water.
The next logical step after this will be to study the effects of these observations to marine life. The team likewise cautions communities further downstream to subject water drawn from the river to further treatment before using.Tags: bezafibrate, blood pressure, canada, carcinogen, cholesterol, Drug, drugs, health, high blood pressure, hypertension, statin, tea, wastewater