Shrimp caught in United Kingdom rivers test positive for cocaine and ketamine

Shrimp caught in United Kingdom rivers test positive for cocaine and ketamine

The researchers found that ketamine and banned pesticides were also widespread.

The research looked at the exposure of wildlife, including the freshwater shrimp Gammarus pulex, to different micropollutants when the researchers came to the startling revelation.

Scientists from King's College London and the University of Suffolk tested freshwater shrimps from 15 different sites across Suffolk, a largely rural area north-east of the United Kingdom capital.

They confirmed that all the samples taken tested positive for cocaine, which was a "surprising" find.

Cocaine was found in 100 percent of the analyzed samples.

Thomas Miller, from King's College London, said "concentrations were low", adding that the traces could "pose a risk to wildlife".

Furthermore, the fact that this many chemicals are being found in rivers right across a rural area such as Suffolk demonstrates just how polluted the water system has become, it said.

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Other illicit drugs such as ketamine, pesticides and pharmaceuticals were also widespread.

The full results of the study were published in the journal Environment International.

Researchers claim that while public concern over environmental health has emphasized microplastics and climate change, there are other areas that merit consideration.

"However, the impact of "invisible" chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the United Kingdom". "Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low".

"The impact of "invisible" chemical pollution (such as drugs) on wildlife health needs more focus in the United Kingdom as policy can often be informed by studies such as these", said Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk.

"The presence of pesticides which have always been banned in the United Kingdom also poses a particular challenge as the sources of these remain unclear", Barron added.

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