The waters of Antarctica contain traces of caffeine, ibuprofen, paracetamol and cocaine, exactly in this order in terms of magnitude.

The samples were collected at various locations in the Antarctic peninsula, in areas where the main scientific bases are located, which are also studied by the thousands of tourists who each year participate in cruises and adventure trips to the icy continent.

The result will not be so strange if we think that, wherever he goes, he takes with him his needs and addictions. In addition, cocaine and Antarctica are “old acquaintances,” as this drug was part of the supplies of the early expeditions, believed to cure “snow blindness,” as can be read in the diaries of explorer Ernest Shackleton. If they returned to see or had visions will not be known, but the scientists who conducted this study were surprised by the levels of substances found, in many cases close to the values ​​found in Europe or other far more populous continents.

Now, what matters is how these toxic elements can damage the ecosystem. Especially because it is not well known what the effects of the climate on the degradation and bioaccumulation of the residues, which can persist for much longer due to extreme cold.

As reported by the Spanish newspaper El País, this will be the second phase of the study, which included elements from institutions such as the Rey Juan Carlos University in Madrid or the National Water Institute of Argentina.


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