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September 21, 2017

In her research, Brosch- has looked primarily at the combined effects of pharmaceuticals, as a cocktail of toxic substances will generally have a greater effect than the sum of its constituent parts. Her results show that although the levels of drugs normally seen in the environment are low, they are not without their risks.

"When five pharmaceuticals and personal care products (fluoxetine, propranolol, zinc pyritione, clotrimazole and triclosan) were mixed together at concentrations which did not have any significant effect individually, the mixture had an almost 30% effect on microalgae."

Brosch- has also studied the high levels of antibiotics in effluents from pharmaceutical production in India. When microbial communities were exposed to this effluent, they rapidly developed increased tolerance to the antibiotic ciprofloxacin.

Source: University of Gothenburg