Latest Photo Galleries
Published on 04/11/2016
Published on 11/19/2015
Cocaine and Other Drugs Found in the Waters of Santos' Bay
11/24/2017 - 10h26
FROM SÃO PAULO
Santos' Bay, one of the landmarks of Baixada Santista, is contaminated by cocaine and pharmaceutical compounds. The substances affect sea life and may impact human health.
The finding is from a study conducted by Unifesp (Federal University of São Paulo) in partnership with Unisanta (Santa Cecilia University), started in 2014.
The research focused on the central portion of the bay, which is ten meters deep, at about 4 km from the beach.
Ecotoxicologist Camilo Seabra, coordinator of the study, says water samples had high concentrations of pure cocaine and of its metabolized form.
In technical terms, the concentration of cocaine found was 500 nanograms per liter. "This is the highest record in the world for coastal regions studied," he says.
|The substances affect sea life|
In addition to the illegal drug, research sought to find concentrations of 34 pharmaceutical drugs, including paracetamol (painkiller) and diclofenac (anti-inflammatory).
In order to analyze the impact of such substances on sea life, researchers analyzed native mussels.
Results raise concerns. "The DNA of the animals has changed. These substances have had significant effects on growth and reproduction of mussels," says Seabra.
The next step is to analyze actual effects on human health.
This research indicates that the presence of cocaine and other substances in the bay reflects the inefficiency of basic sanitation systems.
Translated by ANA BEATRIZ DEMARIA