Traces of caffeine and drugs in all Gotland waters

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Published 13 October 2021 at 10.13

Domestic. Water samples from Gotland and Fårö show that both caffeine and drugs are found in almost all natural waters.

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The results from the chemical analyzes show that both caffeine and the abstinence drug carbamazepine occur almost without exception in all water samples, from smaller rivers to the seawater that surrounds the Gotland coastline.

The samples were taken in September 2017 for to map the situation in Gotland waters outside the main tourist season. The most important was the evaluation of caffeine and carbamazepine because these are good indicators of wastewater in the environment.

Drugs, however, make up only a small fraction of several thousand chemicals found in Swedish wastewater and thus indicate a much broader pollution problem.

– We humans leave traces behind us in increasingly remote places and hitherto relatively untouched environments. The concentrations of unwanted substances as medicines in the watercourses on Gotland are today fortunately relatively low. But the number of summer guests will probably continue to increase in the coming years, which requires efforts in time to prevent increased workload in the future, says Erland Björklund, professor of analytical chemistry at Kristianstad University, in a press release.