IIT Madras study finds heavy pharma pollutants in river Cauvery

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admin November 10, 2021
Updated 2021/11/10 at 7:40 AM

In the river Cauvery, researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-Madras) discovered a significant amount of pharmaceutical pollutants.

“A variety of new pollutants, including pharmaceutically active chemicals, personal care items, plastics, flame retardants, heavy metals, and pesticides, among others, contaminate the waters of River Cauvery,” according to IIT-Madras.

Pharmaceutical contamination is especially significant in India, the world’s second-largest drug-producing country, according to the statement. The experts stated that even little quantities of these chemical compounds put into water bodies may affect humans and the ecology in the long term.

“Our findings are concerning. So far, nothing is known about the long-term effects of pharmaceutical pollutants on human health and the environment. According to the team’s environmental risk assessment, pharmaceutical pollutants offer a medium to high danger to the riverine system’s chosen aquatic life-forms,” stated Ligy Philip, chief researcher, and professor at IIT-M.

Anti-inflammatories like ibuprofen and diclofenac, anti-hypertensives like atenolol and isoprenaline, enzyme inhibitors like perindopril, stimulants like caffeine, antidepressants like carbamazepine, and antibiotics like ciprofloxacin were among the pharmaceutical pollutants, according to IIT.

A team of researchers led by Philip quantified the seasonal distribution of emerging toxins and pollutants in the Cauvery River, according to the IIT. Understanding the processes that govern the dispersion of pollutants and their effects on the ecosystem may be aided by assessing the quality of river water.

“The IIT Madras research demonstrated the need of monitoring rivers and their tributaries for pharmaceutical pollution on a regular basis.” Upgrades to wastewater treatment facilities were also required to lower the amounts of emerging pollutants in receiving water bodies such as rivers. The results of this study also highlight the need for greater research into analysing the long-term effects of emerging pollutants on human health and the ecosystem, according to the IIT.

The work was supported by the UK Natural Environment Research Council and the Water Technology Initiatives of the Department of Science and Technology of the union government

 

Source: Mint

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