Party drugs reportedly found in freshwater shrimp in UK

Researchers from King's College London and the University of Suffolk in the United Kingdom dipped into a series of rivers in the county of Suffolk, snagged some of the local wildlife and checked to see what extracurricular chemicals were coursing through their systems.

Two separate studies in January this year found cocaine in samples taken from the River Thames, with small doses causing hyperactivity in the eels that live in the river.

Their report said cocaine was found in all samples tested. Researchers from the King's College in London found cocaine in all samples of shrimp tested in a rural area of eastern England, they revealed Wednesday, with ketamine also widespread.

His colleague, Thomas Miller, added: "Although concentrations were low, we were able to identify chemicals that might be of concern to the environment and crucially, which might pose a risk to wildlife", he said.

Further research is needed to determine if it's an issue only for Suffolk or if the issue is more widespread, Bury said.

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A recent study out of the United Kingdom found the local freshwater shrimp population has been contaminated with trace amounts of cocaine, other illicit drugs and illegal pesticides.

"Environmental health has attracted much attention from the public due to challenges associated with climate change and microplastic pollution", says University of Suffolk professor Nic Bury. "Although for many of these, the potential for any effect is likely to be low".

"Such regular occurrence of illicit drugs in wildlife was surprising", Dr. Barron said in the statement.

Their results also included pharmaceuticals and pesticides, such as fenuron, which has "long been banned in the United Kingdom ... poses a particular challenge as the sources of these remain unclear".

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