SETAC MultiBrief
Aug. 6, 2015

Drugging the environment
The Scientist
In the fall of 2012, Ph.D. student Hendrik Wolschke leaned over the side of a boat on the Elbe River in Northern Germany and lifted a stainless steel bucket from the water's depths. Pulling it aboard, he set the sloshing bucket next to a pile of empty plastic bottles. Once he'd filled them with the river water, Wolschke packed the bottles into coolers for transport southeast to the chemistry laboratory of his doctoral advisor, Klaus Kümmerer, at Leuphana University of Lüneburg. There, the bottles joined water samples collected from all around Germany: the North Sea, drainage streams from wastewater treatment plants, even drinking water straight from municipal taps. Each sample was tested for the most widely prescribed antidiabetic drug in the world — metformin.More

Cocktails and craft beer in Salt Lake City
There are a lot of misconceptions out there about Salt Lake City, especially about the city’s drinking culture. The first thing most people think of when you mention Utah's capital is Mormonism even though Mormons are actually a minority in the city. A lot of people also assume that alcohol is somehow limited, hard to find or even outright banned, but they couldn't be more wrong. More

McGill study: Traces of cocaine, other illicit drugs found in Ontario drinking water
The Huffington Post
A new study says drinking water in parts of southern Ontario contains traces of several illegal drugs — including cocaine. Researchers at McGill University found water discharged from waste-water treatment plants in the Grand River watershed has the potential to contaminate sources of drinking water with drugs such as morphine, cocaine and oxycodone.More

Crucial ocean acidification models come up short
As the oceans' chemistry is altered by rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, the response of sea-dwellers such as fish, shellfish and corals is a huge unknown that has implications for fisheries and conservationists alike. But the researchers attempting to find an answer are often failing to properly design and report their experiments, according to an analysis of two decades of literature. More

Shallow fracking raises questions for water, Stanford research shows
Today's Energy Solutions
The United States now produces about as much crude oil as Saudi Arabia does, and enough natural gas to export in large quantities. That's thanks to hydraulic fracturing, a mining practice that involves a rock-cracking pressurized mix of water, sand and chemicals. Ongoing research by Stanford environmental scientist Rob Jackson attempts to minimize the risks of fracking to underground drinking water sources.More

EU countries agree to textile chemical ban
The Guardian
EU member states have agreed to ban a toxic substance widely found in clothing because it poses an "unacceptable risk" to the environment. Countries unanimously voted in favor of extending existing restrictions on nonylphenol ethoxylates to imports of clothing and other textile products. The measure is intended to protect aquatic species. Use of NPE in textile manufacture in Europe was banned over 10 years ago but the substance is still released into the aquatic environment through imported textiles being washed.More

Can planting trees make up for warming river water?
Scientific American
Five years ago Medford, Oregon, had a problem common for most cities — treating sewage without hurting fish. The city's wastewater treatment plant was discharging warm water into the Rogue River. Fish weren't dying, but salmon in the Rogue rely on cold water. And the Environmental Protection Agency has rules to make sure they get it.More

Drought and forests: Slower recovery on average?
Nature World News
We think of forests as beautiful places, removers of carbon and always there. However, western forests experiencing drought and wildfires right now may not bounce back quickly, according to researchers lead by William Anderegg at Princeton University, who recently published their findings in the journal Science. More