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Study finds caffeine, various drugs in Hudson River water

Feb 20, 2018 7:15 am

Brian Nearing is reporting for the Times Union testing has revealed that parts of the Hudson River, from New York City to Troy, contain elevated levels of caffeine, and sometimes concerning levels of 16 different pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, drugs for treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, epilepsy, ulcers and heartburn, and the aspirin substitute acetaminophen. The drugs could either be passing through human bodies into sewer systems or coming directly from pills being flushed down toilets. "Some levels are high enough that you could be concerned about fish and other aquatic organisms," said Andrew Juhl, an aquatic biologist at Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who coauthored the peer-reviewed study. "Right now, we don't know what the effects might be. Our point right now is to say these pharmaceuticals are there, and here's the pattern throughout the river." The water was sampled at more than 70 spots along the river during the period between May and July 2016. The study was a collaboration with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Riverkeeper, Lamont-Doherty and Queens College. It appears in the journal Water Research. Read the full story in the Times Union.