Indianapolis Edition
Bookmark and Share Email this page Email Print this page Print Feed Feed

Waterborne Drugs

Meds in Urban Streams Drive Microbial Resistance

Irina Kozorog/Shutterstock.com

A new study published in the journal Ecosphere confirms that in urban streams, persistent pharmaceutical pollution can cause aquatic microbial communities to become resistant to drugs. Researchers evaluated the presence of pharmaceuticals, including painkillers, stimulants, antihistamines and antibiotics, in four streams in Baltimore, Maryland. Then they measured the microbial response to drug exposure. Selected study sites represented a gradient of development from suburban to urban.

Emma Rosi, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies and lead author on the study, explains, “Wastewater treatment facilities are not equipped to remove many pharmaceutical compounds. We were interested in how stream microorganisms, which perform key ecosystem services like removing nutrients and breaking down leaf litter, respond to pharmaceutical pollution. When we expose streams to pharmaceutical pollution, we are unwittingly altering their microbial communities, yet little is known about what this means for ecological function and water quality.”


This article appears in the May 2018 issue of Natural Awakenings.

Edit ModuleShow Tags

More from Natural Awakenings

Social and Eco-Conscious Investing and Buying Choices

Awaken Indy has looked into investment companies in the local area that have built their business models around socially conscious approaches to investing.

Local Business Partners with Charitable App to Support Fair Trade

The locally owned nonprofit organization, with four locations in Indiana and Ohio, recently partnered with the RoundUp App to offer its customers a great way of giving back and supporting international artisans and vendors.

Retreat in Fishers Offers Path of Connection for Couples

Laura Rain, of Soul Evolve, will host a Couples One Day Intimacy Retreat on February 23 at the Prairie Guest House and Sage Studio, in Fishers.

Beat the Chill and Get Inspired

The winter months often come with chilly temperatures, but if you’re already thinking ahead to spring, come in from the cold and check out ideas to spruce up your home when the weather breaks.

Walk the Talk Kicks Off 2019 Series

The Walk the Talk Speaker Series will present Manifest: Anything Is Possible at 7 p.m. on February 20 at The Athenaeum in the Basille Theatre, in Indianapolis.

Add your comment: