When attending some of our favorite music festivals, many of us don’t give a second thought when we dump our old energy drinks out on the ground, ring out our sweaty bandanas, or even dare to relieve ourselves behind an old tree. All these are easy, quick, and keep the party going. But a recent study has shown that these little acts, multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of attendees of any one music festival, add up to cause factors in the local environment. Recently, the Journal of Environmental Science and Technology conducted a study to find the effects such festivals have on the ecosystem, and you might be surprised at the results.
Using Spring Scream as their test area, researchers found increased numbers of a variety of drugs including ecstasy, ketamine, and even caffeine. While these numbers found in the local water supplies are trivial, it is hard to predict the long term effects and outcomes these small doses will have on both the local populace as well as the natural fish and wildlife of the area.
These finding of foreign chemicals are not unique solely to music festivals either. Would you be surprised to hear that areas around college campuses see an increased spike in amphetamine (the main agent in study enhancing drugs used by students around finals time)? Again, we must state that these studies are not arguing that you will get high simply by drinking the water as the amounts are to minuscule to cause those effects. Researchers are more concerned about the long term effects these agents might have.