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Festivalgoers' pee pollutes Swedish river

The Local/rm · 12 Jan 2012, 11:11

Published: 12 Jan 2012 11:11 GMT+01:00

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Scientists have found that drug remnants in the nearby Fyris river multiplied to dangerously high levels after the party was over.

”During upcoming festivals the organizers must ensure that there are enough portable toilets in the area and urge the festival-goers not to urinate outdoors, as this is what leads to medical products leaking into the river water,” said Atlasi Daneshvar, a PhD student at the Deptartment of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment at Uppsala University, to local paper Upsala Nya Tidning (UNT).

For two years in a row, scientists have conducted tests before, during, and after the festival at various locations by the river.

They found that during the year when the weather was good, they saw almost no changes in the levels of drug remnants in the water.

However, the next year, when the festival weekend was bogged down with rain, traces of drugs and medicinal residue in the river water multiplied, according to UNT.

The most common drug found in the water was reportedly ibuprofen, a substance used in many popular painkillers, but more worryingly, scientists also found remnants of drugs such as epilepsy medicine at levels that could be a direct danger to the environment.

The study was conducted by scientists at the Swedish University for Agricultural Sciences (Sveriges lantbruksuniversitet, SLU), Uppsala University and Åbo Akademi University in Finland.

Story continues below…

It has been published in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring.

The Local/rm (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

12:31 January 12, 2012 by DAVID T
don't they have anything better to do - how much did this study cost and who paid for it
12:43 January 12, 2012 by Douglas Garner
Typical... the lead in talks about stoned festival goers, but the drugs involved were things like ibuprofen... not much there to be stoned on! I can understand that because it was raining that urinating on the ground could leech into the river, but wouldn't the river also receive a substantial amount of other water as a result?

You have to wonder if it is a bad study, or just reporting by someone who does not understand statistics enough to summarize the findings.
12:53 January 12, 2012 by ?????
It's amazing what people would claim as a finding in order be published in a journal!
15:21 January 12, 2012 by johnny1939
my urine will be my ruin!!!
15:45 January 12, 2012 by Svensksmith
Urine a heap of trouble, boy.
16:10 January 12, 2012 by Flappytango
yes is badly written and misleading as usually..

but testing rivers and drinking waters for drugs is a growing and important area of research.

Drugs are found in rivers and drinking waters all around the world. think about taking antibiotics, you get a prescription for penicillin (1000mg per tablet) 3 times a day for 10 days. That 30 grams of drug does not stay in your body. It is partially metabolized t and pissed out usually into the toilet where it makes its way back into the water supply. Now think about how many millions of people take drugs on a daily basis how much drugs are given to animals and guess what classical water treatment is no fully effective at removing all drugs in fact certain drugs seriously reduce the efficiency of water treatment plants.
18:27 January 12, 2012 by zooeden
I love the "studys" these people make and rely on!!!
19:58 January 12, 2012 by OkieFromMuskogee
"pee"? Is this written for children? It's "urine".
23:31 January 12, 2012 by blursd
And the Venetians in attendance said, "pee in the water ... what's the big deal!?!"
06:00 January 13, 2012 by Da Goat
further down stream the stone fish are having a party.
09:01 January 13, 2012 by Cage
Here is a concept: Provide adequate toilet facilities at these festival venues. If having these rivers clean is in the best interest of the general public, use tax money to pay the bill and quit wasting it on these idiotic studies and media blitzes.
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