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Argentina is concerned about water pollution with Viagra

Along with an antiepileptic, it is one of the two main drugs that are detected in surface water.

All environment
aguas contaminadas

Along with an antiepileptic, it is one of the two main drugs detected in surface water, which could have environmental and human health consequences.

The effects of sildenafil, the active substance of Viagraand 22 other brands of erectile dysfunction drugs that are marketed in Argentina, maybe they won't end up in bed. Reports of the Environmental Research Center (CIM), affiliated to the Faculty of Exact Sciences of the National University of La Plata ( UNLP), reveal that, together with a drug for epilepsy, it is one of the two drugs with the most presence in surface waters of Argentina, including rivers, streams and lakes, which could have negative consequences on the ecosystem and the human health.

“ In ecotoxicological studies carried out in wastewater effluents in Argentina, in which these were detected emerging contaminants, oxidative stress was observed in the gills and liver of fish, as well as metabolic changes, histological and neurological damage,” said Cyta-leloir Nasly Delgado, PhD student at the CONICET in the group of Dr. Damián Marino at the CIM.

Delgado added: “For this reason, and thinking about possible consequences for human health, it is necessary to protect the bodies of water in our country and the world.”

With that objective in mind, the researchers at the center tested and presented a technology capable of removing both contaminants from the waters. “Although very satisfactory results have been obtained on a pilot scale, some experiments are needed in longer periods of time before it can be transferred to the market,” said Delgado, an environmental engineer graduated from the Universidad del Cauca, in Colombia.

As described in the journal 'Journal of Environmental Management', scientists tested a method based on the use of activated carbon powder (CAP), which managed to remove more than 85% of traces of sildenafil and carbamazepine after 8 hours of contact. In contrast, the usual technology with granulated activated carbon or CAG adsorbed and extracted less than 10% of both contaminants in the same period.

For about three years, researchers at La Plata have been developing this technology to apply it in the treatment plants of domestic wastewater as a tertiary or “polishing” process, although they do not rule out its application as a filter in drinking water.

“ Anyway, the ideal thing would be to be able to remove these contaminants before they enter the water bodies and cause negative effects on the ecosystem,” said Delgado. It is estimated that, in countries such as Argentina, less than 20% of wastewater is pre-treated before being discharged to rivers, streams and other bodies of water. < !

Publication Date: 08/08/2019

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