Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Ibuprofen posing potential threat to fish, researchers say

Date:
August 21, 2014
Source:
University of York
Summary:
Many rivers contain levels of ibuprofen that could be adversely affecting fish health, researchers report. In what is believed to be the first study to establish the level of risk posed by ibuprofen at the country scale, the researchers examined 3,112 stretches of river which together receive inputs from 21 million people.

Research led by the University of York suggests that many rivers contain levels of ibuprofen that could be adversely affecting fish health.

Using a new modelling approach, the researchers estimated the levels of 12 pharmaceutical compounds in rivers across the UK. They found that while most of the compounds were likely to cause only a low risk to aquatic life, ibuprofen might be having an adverse effect in nearly 50 per cent of the stretches of river studied.

The results of the study, which involved York's Environment Department, the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd (Switzerland) and the Food and Environment Research Agency (Fera), are reported in the journal Environment International.

In what is believed to be the first study to establish the level of risk posed by ibuprofen at the country scale, the researchers examined 3,112 stretches of river which together receive inputs from 21 million people.

Professor Alistair Boxall, from the University of York's Environment Department, said: "The results of our research show that we should be paying much closer attention to the environmental impacts of drugs such as ibuprofen which are freely available in supermarkets, chemists and elsewhere."

The researchers have developed a combined monitoring and modelling approach that takes into account factors such as the non-use of prescribed drugs by patients, and addresses differences in metabolism in individuals who are using a drug. The new approach also accounts for removal processes in the local sewerage network and for differences in the effectiveness of different wastewater treatment technologies. In this way, it provides more accurate estimates of the concentrations of compounds entering rivers than previous modelling approaches.

Richard Williams, from the Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH) -- a public-sector research centre which is part of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), said: "When we compared the results of our modelling with available monitoring data for pharmaceuticals in the UK, we were delighted at the close agreement between the modelled and measured data."

Professor Boxall added: "While our study focused on pharmaceuticals, the approach we have developed could also be valuable in assessing the risks of other 'down the drain' chemicals and could help inform our understanding of the important dissipation processes for pharmaceuticals in the pathway from the patient to the environment."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of York. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. A.B.A. Boxall, V.D.J. Keller, J.O. Straub, S.C. Monteiro, R. Fussell, R.J. Williams. Exploiting monitoring data in environmental exposure modelling and risk assessment of pharmaceuticals. Environment International, 2014; 73: 176 DOI: 10.1016/j.envint.2014.07.018

Cite This Page:

University of York. "Ibuprofen posing potential threat to fish, researchers say." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821090021.htm>.
University of York. (2014, August 21). Ibuprofen posing potential threat to fish, researchers say. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 18, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821090021.htm
University of York. "Ibuprofen posing potential threat to fish, researchers say." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/08/140821090021.htm (accessed September 18, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Artificial Sweetener Could Promote Diabetes

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Doctors once thought artificial sweeteners lacked the health risks of sugar, but a new study says they can impact blood sugar levels the same way. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

Ebola Vaccine Trial Gets Underway at Oxford University

AFP (Sep. 17, 2014) A healthy British volunteer is to become the first person to receive a new vaccine for the Ebola virus after US President Barack Obama called for action against the epidemic and warned it was "spiralling out of control." Duration: 01:02 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Obesity Rates Steady Even As Americans' Waistlines Expand

Newsy (Sep. 17, 2014) Researchers are puzzled as to why obesity rates remain relatively stable as average waistlines continue to expand. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins