(paging Deborah Koons Garcia…)
So, if the post about the drug concentrations found in the water wasn’t worrying enough;
along with its potential effects on Aquaculture,
How about its effects on Agriculture?
Well in the same issue of the Journal, Environmental Pollution, Amnon Grossberger and his team look at what Treated Waste Water does this time to the Soil, when it’s used for crop-irrigation.
The Good News? -At least 5 of the meds tested, including painkillers like Advil, degraded readily after TWW was used to irrigate and weren’t found in any meaningful concentration.
The Bad News? Other meds did not degrade as readily and weren’t helped to by any ecological or microbial process. The graph on those would suggest a robust half-life even out past 3 or more months.
The list of these includes drugs for Bipolar, Epilepsy, Blood-Pressure, Anxiety, Antibiotics, Erectile-Dysfunction, and Caffeine.
So, if the party for the fisher-eagle sounded a little crunchy, its starting to look like things are going to get straight-up Weird down in the Produce Aisle.
Again as before, the new methods required to remove these drugs from wastewater will end up being just as finicky as the ones to preserve the wetland-ecosystem.
All of this should be of particular concern for any consumable-goods sourced from Arid Regions, like The Southwest, or Dr. Grossberger’s Israel, as they are likely to use recycled wastewater to irrigate.
-Which the American Chemical Society somehow deemed acceptable back in September of this year.
Perhaps they’ll reconsider after reading Dr. Grossberger’s study.
Photo Credits: “Laser Party”, by Diego Baseggio
• Source Study: Environmental Pollution-Biodegradability of pharmaceutical compounds in agricultural soils irrigated with treated wastewater
• More Coverage: ACS-Recycled Wastewater Irrigation | EPA-Irrigation