Pharmaceutical water pollution detected deep in the Brazilian Amazon

Major rivers in the Amazon Basin of Brazil are contaminated with a wide range of pharmaceuticals as well as with sewage and wastewater, largely coming from urban centers in the region, according to recent research.
Water samples taken along the Amazon, Negro, Tapajós and Tocantins rivers, and small urban tributaries that pass through the region’s cities, including Manaus, Santarém, Belém and Macapá contained 40 pharmaceuticals out of 43 in concentrations that have the potential to affect 50-80% of the local aquatic species.
Experts explain that a major cause of freshwater contamination is the Amazon Basin’s rapidly growing population along with the government’s failure to provide adequate sanitation infrastructure — even though that has long been promised. Most of the region’s sewage is untreated, a solvable problem if properly funded.

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