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Scientists Find Cocaine, Ketamine and Other Drugs in Shrimps in England Rivers

In addition to drugs, banned pesticides and pharmaceuticals were found in the sample of shrimp collected.


Updated:May 1, 2019, 10:48 PM IST
Scientists Find Cocaine, Ketamine and Other Drugs in Shrimps in England Rivers
Image Credits: King's College London.

Researchers from King's College London and University of Suffolk in a recent discovery found cocaine in freshwater shrimps in Suffolk rivers.

The scientists, who were testing the rivers for chemicals found cocaine in all samples tested. Other illicit drugs, including ketamine were also found in the samples.

The study, which was published in Environment International, looked at the exposure of wildlife, such as the freshwater shrimp to different micropollutants.

Scientists were certainly 'surprised' at the findings, but drugs were not the only thing they found - banned pesticides and pharmaceuticals were found in the samples of shrimp collected.

Lead author of the study, Dr Thomas Miller from King’s said: “Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify compounds that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife.

“As part of our ongoing work, we found that the most frequently detected compounds were illicit drugs, including cocaine and ketamine and a banned pesticide, fenuron. Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low," said the press release from King's College.

“Whether the presence of cocaine in aquatic animals is an issue for Suffolk, or more widespread an occurrence in the UK and abroad, awaits further research," said Professor Nic Bury from the University of Suffolk.

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