In its study, the University of York monitored 1,052 sampling sites along 258 rivers in 104 countries across all continents to quantify the presence of pharmaceutical ingredients – paracetamol, nicotine, caffeine and epilepsy and diabetes drugs – in these ecological environments.
The study concluded that contaminants in surface water posed a threat to environmental and or human health in more than a quarter of the studied locations globally – mainly in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and South America.
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The highest mean cumulative concentration was observed in Lahore at 70.8 µg/L, with one sampling site on the Ravi River reaching a maximum cumulative concentration of 189 µg/L.
The most common contaminants were paracetamol, nicotine, caffeine and epilepsy and diabetes drugs in the river, according to the study which was published in the journal of Washington-based National Academy of Sciences.
Rivers in Iceland, Norway and the Amazon rainforest were recorded as the cleanest.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 17th, 2022.
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