Medicines pose global environmental risk, experts warn
SEE ALSO :NEMA shuts abattoir over pollutionAnother study cited said "extremely high" concentrations of pharmaceutical products had already been detected in water ways in China, India, Israel, South Korea and the United States. In Britain alone, ethinyloestradiol, diclofenac, ibuprofen, propranolol and antibiotics are now present in the run-off of 890 wastewater treatment plants at high enough levels to cause "adverse environmental effects", according to another study. "The residues of pharmaceuticals have been detected in surface and ground water across the world," said Leckie. "However there's still a lot we don't know about their occurence, and know even less about the concentrations we find." Resistance set to skyrocket
SEE ALSO :Assembly disowns Kibos on pollutionMore than 700,000 people already die each year from drug-resistant infections. As the global population grows and ages and prescribing rates continue to climb, that figure is set to hit 10 million annually by 2050 -- higher than the number of people dying from cancer. "Unless adequate measures are taken to manage the risks, pharmaceutical residues will increasingly be released into the environment as ageing populations, advances in healthcare, and intensification of meat and fish production spur the demand for pharmaceuticals worldwide," the report said. And the situation is set to get even more acute as climate change increases the spread and frequency of infectious diseases such as malaria and dengue. Leckie said there was something of a vicious circle when it came to medical prescriptions and climate-related disease.
SEE ALSO :India's Delhi gasps under choking smog"Human activity such as population (growth) and transport combined with climate change increases antibacterial resistance... and therefore the need for more pharmaceuticals."
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