QuEChERS: safeguarding water quality by better treatment for pharmaceuticals

There are various water pollution issues throughout the world. Some research members at Swansea University have come through a new way for swift removal and distinguishing pollutants in polluted water that are present in frequent medicines such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and paracetamol which assists in minimizing their hazardous effect on the surroundings.

Some groups of female biochemists from Medical School published an article named Analytical Science Advances on research along with the association of an international company Biotage. This research was aimed to develop a single procedure for fragmenting and assessing a huge variety of medications and chemicals found in personal care products found in almost everyone’s washrooms which can lead to wasted water slime and blood plasma. This new procedure will improve your understanding to figure out between different pollutants and considering which should be left into the environment and in which cases should you be more cautious. The goal is to help eliminate the disastrous effects of the pollutants they have on the environment.

Dr. Rachel Townsend, who was the first author for this research work, said that people don’t exactly know about the drugs when they take them. They usually think that taking a drug-totally releases its effect inside the body but that’s not the case. That drug excretes from the body and then moves to wasted water treatment plants at the end. She also said that it was thought that when the water gets treated in treatment plants, all the effect of pharmaceuticals and chemicals is removed from the water but on further research, results contradicted the assumption. There were visible effects of the presence of pharmaceuticals in that treated water. And that water is then released into streams and river whereas 80% of that treated water is being used for agricultural purposes as a fertilizer.

Moving on to the global perspective, it also has created much chaos, mostly on animals. An example is of vultures. An anti-inflammatory medicine which is not a steroid named Diclofenac has caused the death of many vulture species bringing them to the brink of being endangered. It has decreased the population of Indian long-billed and red-headed vultures by almost 97% to 99%. Another female birth control tablet created some hormonal issues for male fishes leading them to feminization decreasing their population massively within two years. Seeing this worsening situation, it is also assumed that it can harm humans too.

The research team came up with a process that uses a sample preparing way named QuEChERS which has detection of a mass spectrometer. They used this method for the detection, extraction, and quantification of different pharmaceutical admixtures and personal care commodities from a variety of water sources such as wasted water slime. The research workers then can see a transparent situation of the reasons due to which antimicrobial defiance expands and circulates in the society and this thing’s potentiality will help in saving and protecting the quality of water along with the atmosphere and health.

This research will be handed to the Chemical Investigation Program which is a research initiative contributing to EUD for better environmental management. All the research work on this issue and solution will help in polishing the treatment procedure so that the health of living things that have a dependency on the water remains unchanged.