How do painkillers get into water and harm animals

A Facebook post on May 11 stated: “Some time ago, eagles literally fell from trees in southern skies. When the animals were autopsied, it turned out that they died from diclofenac poisoning”(Link). The post has been posted about 500 times. In order to protect animals, leftover gels such as Voltaren should first be removed with a paper towel and not washed directly. Otherwise, large amounts of active ingredients get into our water and are swallowed up by animals, which often die because of this.

How does the pain reliever diclofenac get into the water?

Some users doubt these statements: “Wtf? You can’t believe it,” someone writes. However, it is true that diclofenac enters the water and can be harmful to the animals there. One gram of Voltaren pain gel contains 11.6 milligrams of diclofenac. on me The site recommends the use of Voltaren Dry hands with a paper towel before washing them. In water, the active substance can be noisy Federal Environment Agency be harmful to animals.

This post has been shared on Facebook nearly 500 times. It is true that Diclofenac is in Voltaren, but it is also in other medicines (Source: Facebook; screenshot May 27, 2022: Correction. Fact-check)

diclofenac It is used not only in pain relievers, but also in other medicines. Part of it is excreted by the body again – this also increases the concentration of diclofenac in the water.

India, Pakistan and Spain: Some birds and fish show organ damage from diclofenac

It’s not clear which places in the Facebook post mean “Climate of the South.” The statement is supposed to allude to cases in India, Spain or Pakistan where vultures died from diclofenac poisoning.

In these countries poisoning in animals led to sudden kidney failure such as studies Takes. Diclofenac was used there as an anti-inflammatory treatment for sick cattle whose carcasses were eaten by vultures. In 2006, Diclofenac was approved for veterinary use in South Asia, among others Forbidden – Also in Germany, the use of diclofenac in the veterinary sector is prohibited according to the Union for the Conservation of Nature.

Diclofenac has also been detected in the waters of Germany

However, cases of animals ingesting diclofenac have also been found in Germany: loud Federal Environment Agency Diclofenac remains have also been detected in other wild animal species, such as trout. In vultures and carps, the drug could potentially damage the liver and kidneys, it said Domain And the Globalism.

The concentration of diclofenac at which “no impact on the ecosystem” occurs is high Federal Environment Agency At 0.05 micrograms per liter. This design limit was exceeded at 21 measurement points in Germany between 2016 and 2018.

For “Die Tricks” program has a From NDR commissioned laboratory 2.27 µg of diclofenac per liter was found in water samples from the outlet of the Lubeck sewage treatment plant.

Pharmaceutical residues cannot be completely disposed of in most wastewater treatment plants

According to Susanne Hoff, a spokeswoman for the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research, diclofenac is used as an over-the-counter drug in Germany. Consumption is high and is about 85 tons per year. Therefore, a relatively high load goes to wastewater treatment plants. Diclofenac is relatively poorly biodegradable there.” A large proportion ends up in water running through wastewater without degrading.

As Adolf Eisenträger of the Federal Center for Archaeological Materials at the Federal Environment Agency has written to us, there are few legal options for reducing the amount of diclofenac in water because it is not possible in Germany not to approve the drugs for people for environmental reasons. So far, manufacturers and distributors of medicinal products have not been held financially responsible for the costs, either at the national level or under European law.

Federal Energy and Water Management Association Reported on January 14, 2022That diclofenac, according to an expert report, could cause environmental clean-up costs of up to 1.5 billion euros within 30 years. The association calls for a “financing model” in which pharmaceutical manufacturers would share in cleaning costs. else experts and experts Confirms is thatDealing with active ingredients like Diclofenac should change as a whole first and foremost. According to the association Jenna waterIn which the cities and municipalities of the Saale-Holzland region and Weimarer Land work together, even modern sewage treatment plants cannot completely eliminate drug residues.

Consumer Tips

Consumers can help reduce exposure to diclofenac. in one a tool he have German pharmaceutical newspaper I collected the following tips:

  • apply or take only the necessary amount;
  • wipe hands with a cloth that should be disposed of in general waste;
  • allow the gel to act before washing again;
  • Dispose of leftover medicines in the garbage, not in the water

Editors: Matthias Bau, Victor Marinov

Leave a Comment