Scientists recently found an alarming substance in shrimp —cocaine.
Researchers from King’s College in London recently conducted a study, published in Environmental International journal, to determine the different micropollutants that might contaminate wildlife, including freshwater shrimp.
To do so, they collected samples from five catchment areas and 15 different sites across the county of Suffolk.
After analyzing the results, they found cocaine and other contaminates, such as ketamine, pesticides and pharmaceuticals, in the shrimp they tested.
“Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife,” lead author Thomas Miller said in a statement. “As part of our ongoing work, we found that the most frequently detected compounds were illicit drugs, including cocaine and ketamine and a banned pesticide, fenuron. Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low.”
The analysts said medicines and drugs can end up in rivers. Animals can consume them, which can potentially cause harm to the environment.
“Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution,” coauthor Nic Bury added. “However, the impact of ‘invisible’ chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the UK as policy can often be informed by studies such as these.”
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