Byproducts of two antibiotics and a substance used in medical imaging have turned up in wastewater treatement plants in Buffalo, heightening concern over how the products we use and consume are affecting the health and safety of our watersheds. The presence of antibiotics in the water system could impact antibiotic resistance. Many pharmaceuticals have been found in creeks and other water supplies around the country over the last decade or so, including endocrine-disrupting hormones that can affect the body's functioning. The researchers from the University of Buffalo found remnant chemicals of two commonly prescribed antibiotics, a substance that people ingest before getting an MRI, and a synthetic form of estrogen found in hormone replacements and birth control pills.
Standard disinfection techniques such as chlorination do not appear to remove the substances from the water, but the researchers hope their findings will help develop both ways to test for the chemicals and methods of removing them.
[via ScienceDaily ]