taiwain river drugs
Northern Taiwan’s San Guang River, not the river in question

Spring Scream, an annual festival held in Taiwan, has caused “big spikes” in the quantity of ecstasy, ketamine and caffeine in Taiwanese water supplies.

This was discovered by a study published on Wednesday in the Environmental Science & Technology journal, an effort to research the “emerging contaminants” that turn up in waste water. According to recent studies, only about half of these contaminants are removed during the water treatment process, meaning that drugs are cropping up in drinking water, as well as in the diet of local fish.

Researchers investigated the effects of different events – football games, holiday weekends, etc – on contaminant levels in the Hengchun area of Taiwan, a popular holiday destination, but it was the festival where the biggest spikes were found.

None of this, apparently, will mean you get high from drinking water – but there is long-term concern about people and animals being “exposed to varying mixtures of different drugs at different concentrations”. [via Washington Post]

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