Skip to main content

Natural Awakenings New York City

Waterborne Drugs

Apr 30, 2018 03:29PM

Meds in Urban Streams Drive Microbial Resistance

Anew study published in the journal Ecosphereconfirms that in urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs. Researchers evaluated the presence of pharmaceuticals, including painkillers, stimulants, antihistamines and antibiotics, in four streams in Baltimore, Maryland. Then they measured the microbial response to drug exposure. Selected study sites represented a gradient of development from suburban to urban.

Emma Rosi, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and lead author on the study, explains, “Wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to remove many pharmaceutical compounds. We were interested in how stream microorganisms, which perform key ecosystem services like removing nutrients and breaking down leaf litter, respond to pharmaceutical pollution. When we expose streams to pharmaceutical pollution, we are unwittingly altering their microbial communities, yet little is known about what this means for ecological function and water quality.”

Upcoming Events Near You
April 2020 Digital Issue

 

  
Join the NYCNaturalAwakenings.com Community!

 

 

 

Natural Awakenings Videos
Follow us on Facebook