A team of scientists tasked with finding out what types of chemicals polluted the river water in Suffolk was shocked when the freshwater shrimps collected from the rivers surrounding Suffolk tested positive for cocaine and 56 other drugs including banned pesticides.
How Fresh Water Shrimp Got Contaminated is A Mystery
Scientists collected samples from 15 sites from 5 rivers surrounding Suffolk. The team conducted a test to find what type of chemicals was present in the rivers. To their amazement, the results showed the presence of trace amount of cocaine, banned pesticides, and 56 other drugs
All samples tested positive for cocaine. According to the authorities, the presence of these drugs in rural waterways was suppressing. Such results are often found in urban waterways like London. A team of scientists from King’s college London is closely working with the University of Suffolk to find the source.
Dr. Leon Barron from King’s College London told the media that such regular occurrences of illegal drugs in wildlife were distressing especially in rural areas. He further added that locating the source of these drugs and pesticides which have been banned in the UK for a long was a real challenge.
Professor Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk also stated that to ascertain whether the presence of such drugs in aquatic animals was localized to Suffolk’s or not is hard to say.
Types Of Drugs Found In The Fresh Water Shrimps
When the freshwater shrimps have tested the results showed the presence of both legal and illegal drugs. Legal Drugs like Lidocaine is used as an anesthetic in dentistry and is often passed off as cocaine by drug dealers. It has the same numbing effect that cocaine has on the gums which makes it hard to differentiate between them. This drug was found in trace amount.
Other substances like MDMA aka ecstasy, methamphetamine, crystal meth and salbutamol a drug used in asthma inhalers also showed up in the results.
Dr. Thomas Miller from King’s College London told the media that despite being in low concentration, the team of scientist had managed to identify some substances that aren’t environmentally friendly.
The Environmental Boom in UK
According to a study the UK is facing an environmental boom meaning the number of people concerned about environmental health has increased exponentially. Just recently a group of students from the University of Bristol demanded to introduce more environmentally friendly laws. This movement has now spread to almost every part of the world.