Effect of pharmaceutical residues on plant and animal life in ecosystems

Possibly the consequences for humans of ongoing exposure to low concentrations of pharmaceuticals could be extrapolated from the impact of pharmaceuticals on plant and animal life. Citing from ref. 2013a: “trace pharmaceuticals already contaminate a wide variety of species, from algae on up to mammals“.

Sufficient information confirms that trace pharmaceutical residues introduced into aquatic ecosystems are affecting wildlife, such as by feminisation of male fish. According to ref. 2008a, “research has already shown how antidepressants can affect fish. In one study, fish living in a stream containing municipal effluent were found to contain concentrations of four antidepressants in their muscle, liver, and brain tissues. Another study reported that certain antidepressants induced spawning in some crustaceans and bivalves. More recently, three antidepressants were found to be toxic to algae in laboratory experiments.“