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Xenobiotics means chemical substances that are foreign to animal life. In other words, it refers to chemical substances that have not been produced organically. For example, environmental pollutants, drugs and industrial chemicals. These substances can harm humans, animals and nature. Studies show that humans are exposed to about 1-3 million xenobiotics in their lifetimes.

More on Xenobiotics

Xenobiotics can also be found in 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. It has been shown that fish have become sterile as a result of contact. In detail, many xenobiotics can for example be toxic to cells and organs. It can also lead to various diseases in humans, such as organ toxicity or even cancer. The release of xenobiotics can access nature through wastewater pipes in people’s homes. It can for instance be 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 artificial medicines, have been found in the waterworks of cities. They have been linked to medicines such as antidepressants. In detail, wastewater treatment plants need to be effective at minimizing the release of xenobiotic substances in the environment. To counteract this development there have been different environmental laws put in place. More so, more efficient wastewater treatment plants. As a private person, one can make sure that medicines are disposed of correctly by following guidelines. Such as recommendations from pharmacies.

Sources: Motion till riksdagenNCBIJuniper Publishers


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