We are fighting a battle for our planet for quite some time now. While human activity has resulted in devastating effects all over the world, in land, air and water, currently, we are concerned about marine life. Corporations all over the world are trying to phase-out single-use plastic to bring a difference to the planet. And so, when scientists discovered traces of drugs like cocaine and ketamine in shrimps, it gave them a surprise.
Researchers from the King’s College in London, working in collaboration with the University of Suffolk (England), conducted certain experiments around 15 specific areas around Suffolk. The samples were collected from rivers Box, Alde, Gipping, Deben, and Waveney. What surprised the scientists was that the samples had traces of cocaine and shrimps were found with traces of ketamine in them. Whether this issue is localised to the county of Suffolk or not is something that needs to be examined further. The testing has to be done all over the UK and even abroad if possible.
It is no wonder that the world is reeling under the pressure of microplastic pollution and climate change. This invisible chemical of drugs is a new addition that can potentially harass the wildlife of the country. This exposure of micropollutants on wildlife and organisms like the Gammarus pulex or freshwater shrimp has been documented in a
study that has been published in Environment International. Along with the drugs, there were also the traces of banned pharmaceuticals and pesticides found in these shrimps. On the good side, the researchers believe that the potential harm of these substances on shrimps will be low.
However, according to a press release, the presence of these illicit drugs in these wildlife rich areas was really surprising for Dr Leon Barren. It is expected that such high content in wild or marine life can be found more in urban areas than in rural areas. Another mystery remains, regarding the presence of banned pesticides in the shrimps. The traces of fenuron was found which is a pesticide that has been banned in the UK for a long time. The source of them remain unknown.
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This is definitely an astonishing find. We just need to study more about it to find out the effect that it can have on wildlife. Hopefully, this does not turn out to be a tragic development like microplastics.
IMAGE CREDIT1: dolgachov