Shrimp in British rivers ‘all test positive for cocaine’, research finds
Illegal drugs such as cocaine and ketamine are found in the bodies of animals living in British rivers – along with banned pesticides and other chemicals.
Researchers from University College London collected samples from 15 sites in London, looking for 'micropollutants' in the bodies of animals such as freshwater shrimp.
A hundred per cent of the shrimp tested positive for cocaine.
The researchers found that ketamine and banned pesticides were also widespread.
Lead author, Dr Thomas Miller from King's College London, said: '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.
'As part of our ongoing work, we found that the most frequently detected compounds were illicit drugs, including cocaine and ketamine, and a banned pesticide, fenuron. Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low.'
Professor Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk said: 'Whether the presence of cocaine in aquatic animals is an issue for Suffolk, or more widespread an occurrence in the UK and abroad, awaits further research.
'Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution. 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.'
- This article first appeared on Yahoo