Medicines pose global environmental risk: Experts Nov 15, 2019 0 1008 12345 AFPParisResidues from billions of doses of antibiotics, painkillers and antidepressants pose a significant risk to freshwater ecosystems and the global food chain, a new analysis said on Thursday.There are growing fears that the unchecked use of antibiotics in both medicine and agriculture will have adverse effects on the environment and on human health.When animals and humans ingest medicines, up to 90 percent of active ingredients are excreted back into the environment.Many medicines are simply discarded -- in the United States alone an estimated one third of the four billion drugs prescribed each year ends up as waste.The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) compared data on concentrations of pharmaceutical residue in water samples worldwide as well as prescribing trends and water purification regulations in various countries.One study cited in its report estimates that 10 percent of all pharmaceuticals are potentially harmful to the environment -- including hormones, painkillers and antidepressants.The OECD said that antibiotic use for livestock is predicted to rocket by more than two thirds in the next decade, stoking concerns over antibiotic resistance.Human prescriptions are also set to drastically increase, according to the report.“We’re seeing constant engineering of new pharmaceuticals and seeing clinical practices evolve to include recommendations of earlier treatment and higher doses,” said the lead report author Hannah Leckie.Another study cited said “extremely high” concentrations of pharmaceutical products had already been detected in water ways in China, India, Israel, South Korea and the United States.In Britain alone, ethinyloestradiol, diclofenac, ibuprofen, propranolol and antibiotics are now present in the run-off of 890 wastewater treatment plants at high enough levels to cause “adverse environmental effects”, according to another study.“The residues of pharmaceuticals have been detected in surface and ground water across the world,” said Leckie. Pages 12 RELATED ARTICLES US ‘will continue to lead’ against IS, says Pompeo Nov 15, 2019 0 737 EU launches legal case against UK over commission post Nov 15, 2019 0 214 Philippines deports 312 Chinese over telecom fraud Nov 15, 2019 0 1190 MH17 calls show ties between Russian officials, rebels: Probe AFP The Hague Investigators looking into the downing of flight MH17 over Ukraine released intercepted phone calls on Thursday showing close links between “high-ranking” Russian officials and rebel suspects facing .. Taliban say still holding two Western hostages Kabul: A Taliban spokesman said on Thursday the insurgents were still holding two Western hostages, as officials stayed tight-lipped over the outcome of an apparent prisoner swap announced by Afghan President Ashraf .. Pakistan leads censor requests sent to Facebook Islamabad: Of the 17,807 content restrictions made by Facebook globally, the highest number — over 31 percent — of the requests originated from Pakistan between January and July 2019, according to the platform’s latest .. Nobel winners call on Modi to restore critic’s citizenship New Delhi: Nobel prize winners Margaret Atwood, Orhan Pamuk and John Coetzee led more than 250 literary and journalist luminaries who called on Thursday on India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to revoke an order .. Key Catalan party withholds support to Spanish PM Madrid: A Catalan separatist party whose support is key to the investiture of Spain’s new government on Thursday refused to offer its backing in a blow to Socialist premier Pedro Sanchez. For Sanchez, securing the .. Germany approves law making measles vaccine compulsory for children Berlin: Germany’s lower house of parliament on Thursday approved a law that will make measles vaccinations obligatory in kindergartens and schools from March 1, 2020. In the Bundestag, 459 lawmakers voted in favour of .. US envoy did not link Biden probe to aid: Ukrainian FM AFP Kiev Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Vadym Prystaiko on Thursday said US envoy Gordon Sondland did not tell him aid to Kiev depended on opening a probe into Donald Trump’s potential 2020 rival Joe Biden. Democrats accused .. One killed, four injured in California school shooting, suspect in custody AFP Santa Clarita, United States One person was killed and least four others injured in a shooting at a high school north of Los Angeles on Thursday, triggering a police hunt for a student who was found wounded and taken into ..