The highest levels of contamination were common antidepressant and antifungal drugs.
The team spent two years in spiders, as well as natural insects, as well as insects living in rivers. There were almost all important drug concentrations.
Dr. Monash University Water Research Center I The most worrying of these insects was that they didn't have a single drug – up to 69 Er, says Erinn Richmond.
Ları These insects have really high concentrations of drugs. And they carry these compounds into spiders. "
It is not certain how human medication is in the waterways, but the team suspects it is entering the sewer system through human urine and then not being completely filtered.
The largest number of drugs found so far have been Brushy Creek, where purified water from a nearby sewage plant.
Richmond said that although the study did not test the drinking water basins, the findings raised questions about whether the contamination caused drinking water. Sassafras and Lyrebird Creeks form a small part of the city's drinking water basin.
Using data from a natural diet of a platypus, the team calculated about half an antidepressant dose per day and 21 other types of drugs (did not test platypuses directly) in a person who ate living and contaminated insects in Brushy Creek.
”From what we've seen, it's definitely a possibility – but we don't know it and didn't test it.“
Melbourne Water, which partly financed the survey, says that streams account for less than 0.5 percent of all streams and that all drinking water has been meticulously processed and tested for contamination.
The team's findings came together with a lot of research, including pharmaceutical pollutants in water and the sedimentation of Brisbane River.
A large research conducted in 2014 found the most commonly detected paracetamol and trace organic pollutants with carbamazepine (an anticonvulsant) in the 73 rivership sites tested throughout Australia.
Doç The potential effects of pharmaceuticals are still not well understood, ler says Bob Wong, an assistant professor.
. However, previous studies have shown that at sufficiently high concentrations, exposure to certain human and veterinary medicines can result in catastrophe, including gender change in fish and death in vultures. “
In the laboratory of Professor Wong's Monash University, a study showing that fluoxetine, one of the antidepressants detected in the major concentrations of insects found in Melbourne's rivers, was more sexually aggressive than male mosquito fish.
But Nature Stuart Khan, a drug contamination specialist at NSW University, who advises on the water quality of the World Health Organization, said there was a mistake in data collection.
Liam is a science correspondent for Fairfax Media.