Vegetables irrigated with treated wastewater expose consumers to drugs

Green

Society focuses so much on reducing its footprint in waste that we’re constantly looking to new ways to do more with less, and recycling just about everything from atomic bombs to plastic shopping bags and roadkill on the side of the road.

One popular recycling technique is to reuse wastewater from treatment plants, factories, “green office buildings” and more. So it’s no surprise to hear of this new study that finds maybe we’re going a little too far in the wastewater recycling…

Via ScienceBlog:

A new study by a multidisciplinary team of researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Hadassah Medical Center shows that eating vegetables and fruits grown in soils irrigated with reclaimed wastewater exposes consumers to minute quantities of carbamazepine, an anti-epileptic drug commonly detected in wastewater effluents.

Fresh water scarcity worldwide has led to increased use of reclaimed wastewater, as an alternative source for crop irrigation. But the ubiquity of pharmaceuticals in treated effluents has raised concerns over the potential exposure for consumers to drug contaminants via treated wastewater.

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