Over the past two decades, additions of pharmaceuticals residue in freshwater have increased and it will be an environmental problem in recent years, as per new research paper published by the environmental experts at Radboud University. Researchers wrote that the levels of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin have reached the point of potentially causing damaging ecological effects globally.
The first baseline of the research is to examine the effects and risks of two particular medicines in global water resources and their research paper has been published in Environmental Research Letters.
Rik Oldenkamp, the lead author shared that because of limited data availability, getting a clear picture of the environmental risks of pharmaceuticals around the world is still not possible. He further added that it is also true that with the help of models like the ePiE model, that can provide detailed predictions of pharmaceutical concentrations in the environment, but these model can be used only at the areas where we already have a lot of information, like rivers in Europe.
Researchers team developed a new model which is based on the existing model but with a lower resolution, that makes it possible to estimate worldwide predictions for individual ecoregions.
Two main drugs ‘carbamazepine, an anti-epileptic drug, and ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic’ on which study was done and found the environmental risks were 10 to 20 times higher in 2015 than in 1995. The increased consumption of ciprofloxacin was found to have a particularly high impact globally.
The water healthy bacterias get affected with the increasing concentrations of this antibiotic and these bacterias are important for us and playing an important role in various nutrient cycles. Oldenkamp, research scholar said that additions of antibiotics residues can also affect negatively on the effectiveness of bacteria colonies used in wastewater treatment.
Oldenkamp said that their developed model also predicted the relatively high environmental risk for ecoregions in densely populated and dry areas such as the Middle East, yet those are precisely the areas where there is little data on pharmaceutical use and concentrations in surface waters.
Researchers noticed that the consumption of pharmaceutical drugs by the human is increasing day by day in populated areas and using regression models based on consumption in other countries, along with socio-economic and demographic information, and linked this to information related to other factors such as water sources and the number of people with access to wastewater treatment.
According to Oldenkamp, their model is just a starting point for creating an insight into the environmental risks posed by pharmaceuticals all over the world and shows a particular need for new data in those types of areas.