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Surprised Scientists Find Cocaine Ketamine in Shrimps From UK Rivers

first_imgStay on target Scientists found cocaine, ketamine, and pesticides in freshwater shrimps when testing UK rivers for chemicals, according to a new study.The study, a collaboration between King’s College London and University of Suffolk, and published in Environment International, looked at the exposure of wildlife, such as the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex, to different micropollutants (chemicals found at exceptionally low levels) and the levels of these compounds in the animals in 15 different sites in the UK.The researchers, who found the findings “surprising,” said cocaine was found in all samples tested. Other illicit drugs, such as ketamine, and pesticides were also widespread in the shrimp that were collected.“Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife,” said the study’s lead author, Dr. Thomas Miller from King’s College London.The team collected samples from five rural catchments, which made the findings even more surprising.“Such regular occurrence of illicit drugs in wildlife was surprising. We might expect to see these in urban areas such as London, but not in smaller and more rural catchments,” said Dr. Leon Barron from King’s College London. “The presence of pesticides which have long been banned in the UK also poses a particular challenge as the sources of these remain unclear.”Although the researchers said the potential for any effect on the creatures was “likely to be low,” they urge more focus on the impact of chemical pollution on wildlife health.“Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution,” said Professor Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk. “However, the impact of ‘invisible’ chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the UK as policy can often be informed by studies such as these.”More on Geek.com:Scientists Discover ‘Strangest Crab That Ever Lived’Oil-Eating Bacteria Found in World’s Deepest Ocean TrenchHere’s What Happened When Scientists Dropped a Dead Alligator to the Seafloor New Species of Giant Flying Reptile Identified By ScientistsLoch Ness Monster Could Be a Giant Eel, Scientists Say last_img

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