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Xenobiotics are chemical substances that are foreign to animal life. In other words, it refers to non-organic chemical substances. Environmental pollutants, drugs and industrial chemicals are such examples. These substances can harm humans, animals and nature. Studies show that humans get exposed to about 1-3 million xenobiotics throughout life.

More on Xenobiotics

Xenobiotics can also be part of artificial fertilizers, pesticides, make-up and artificial flavouring. The chemicals access the body through diet, drinking water, drug administration and even air.

Furthermore, the release of the substances can lead to hormonal disruptions in fish and other animals. Some fish have become sterile as a result of contact. In detail, many xenobiotics can be toxic to cells and organs. They can also lead to various human diseases, such as organ toxicity or cancer. Furthermore, xenobiotics can access nature through wastewater pipes in people’s homes. For example, it can appear as substances in medicines that go through the human body, a toilet, a sewage system and eventually nature.

Chemical substances in water

Across the world, there is a consistent problem with chemical “leftovers” in the waters. For example, xenobiotics, from drugs like antidepressants, have been found in the waterworks of cities. In detail, wastewater treatment plants need to minimize the release of xenobiotic substances in the environment. Some environmental laws have been put in place to ensure this. As a private person, it is crucial to follow the guidelines on how to dispose of medicines correctly. To avoid releasing more harmful substances.

Sources: Motion till riksdagen, NCBIJuniper Publishers


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