Scientists Find Large Amounts Of Ibuprofen In Spanish Rivers

SCIENTISTS find large amounts of Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory drugs in Spanish rivers.

It is no secret that our rivers and oceans are becoming ever more polluted due to agriculture, industry and wastewater treatments in particular, but it may come as a surprise that we now need to begin worrying about the amount of over-the-counter and prescription drugs that end up in Spanish waters. A scientific team from the University of Landau in Germany has carried out an in-depth study of the huge existing data bank on the state of surface waters in Europe, and found a high level of Ibuprofen and other anti-inflammatory medications in Spanish rivers.

“We have analysed all these millions of water quality measurements to detail the existence of organic pollutants across Europe and we have assessed the risks to freshwater environments,” said study lead author Jakob Wolfram, a scientist at the Institute of Environmental Sciences of Landau. In fact, only a third of all the bodies of water studied were not affected by organic pollutants.

Scientists have only been monitoring pharmaceutical products since 2010, but they discovered that these products occurred at a much higher frequency than any of the other chemicals being recorded, particularly in Spanish waters.

“In addition, a recent study discovered that 69 pharmaceutical products, especially anti-inflammatory drugs, are regularly present in Spanish rivers,” the authors said. Of the Spanish rivers analysed, the most frequently detected drugs were non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like Ibuprofen, followed by the anticonvulsant drug carbamazepine and several antibiotics.

Given that some of these drugs have detrimental effects on aquatic systems, the authors believe “continuous monitoring of these substances is essential.”


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Written by

Sarah Keane

Former teacher and health services manager with a Degree in English, Sarah moved to Spain from Southern Ireland with her husband, who runs his own car rental business, in 2019. She is now enjoying a completely different pace and quality of life on the Costa Blanca South, with wonderful Spanish and expat friends in Cabo Roig. Sarah began working with Euro Weekly News in 2020 and loves nothing more than bringing all the latest national and international news to her local community.