Preventing Drinking Water Contamination by Pharmaceuticals
News Sep 11, 2015
But now scientists have developed a way to make drugs that break down into harmless compounds before they contaminate our taps.
A wide range of active ingredients originating from pesticides, shampoos, lotions, cosmetics, disinfectants and drugs get washed into sewage systems or rivers and streams, ending up in our tap water. Scientists don’t have a complete picture yet of what effects these substances have on wildlife and human health, but they are a major concern. Researchers have detected them in low levels in streams and rivers across the United States and in other countries. To address the specific problem of medications in the environment, Klaus Kümmerer and colleagues made tweaks to pharmaceuticals so they degrade after they’ve passed through both the body and sewage treatment systems, which aren’t capable of scrubbing wastewater of all contaminants.
The researchers chose to work with a commonly used drug called propranolol — a beta blocker prescribed to treat high blood pressure and to prevent heart problems. It is very stable and has been found in sewage. They made a small molecular change in its structure that didn’t affect its beta blocking activity but allowed it to break down more easily than the original form. Further studies are needed, but initial testing showed that the altered drug and its byproducts are likely not toxic. The researchers suggest that a similar approach could be used to re-design other classes of drugs and chemicals to make them more environmentally friendly, too.
Making Fragrances Last LongerNews
From floral perfume to fruity body wash and shampoos, scents heavily influence consumer purchases. But for most, the smell doesn’t last long after showering before it fades away. Scientists have now developed a way to get those fragrances to stick to the skin longer instead of washing down the drain immediately after being applied.READ MORE
Promise for Combating Harmful Algal BloomsNews
A cheap, safe and effective method of dealing with harmful algal blooms is on the verge of being introduced following successful field and lab tests. Moves to adopt use of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) as an effective treatment against toxic algae are already underway following the results of new research.READ MORE
Grape Waste Goes From Landfill to LipstickNews
The world drinks a lot of wine, and that means a lot of grapes are consumed every year. But not every part of the grape ends up in the bottle. Seeds, stalks and skins are typically discarded in landfills as waste. But now, researchers say they have found some useful commercial applications, such as prolonging the shelf life of fatty foods, for these wine leftovers.READ MORE
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World Congress on Advanced Pharmacy and Clinical Research
Jul 16 - Jul 17, 2018