It seems that Londoners just might be one of the highest-consuming cocaine cities of this planet. Eels in the Thames River are becoming hyperactive due to high levels of the substance polluting the city’s waste water.
Scientists at King’s College London have found that citizens use the class A drug immensely during the week and on weekends. They fear this is hurting the river’s wildlife, and the eels seem to prove that.
According to King’s College, “concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine remained high in waste water across the week with only a minor increase over the weekend.” Leaks have been found constantly entering the river. A possible explanation for the high results could be the levels of substance found in urine.
The problem is getting worse as caffeine, cocaine, and benzoylecgonine continue to overflow the sewers. London’s water treatment plans fail to filter out the drug during their water purification processes. The torrential downpours also overwhelm waste plants and pollute the sewers with even more toxic water.
James Robson, a senior curator at Sea Life London, explained that “drugs which affect us will almost always affect all animal life, and invertebrates a little bit more because their biochemistry is much more sensitive.”
The effect cocaine is having on the eels is not brand new news, either. Back in June 2018, researchers from the University of Naples Federico II studied the effects of cocaine on eels. They put them in water with drug residue and found that the drug drastically changed their bodies and behavior. All main body functions (muscles, hormones, and brain) became altered after exposure.
While the eels may seem to be getting high, the real issue is the city’s waste water treatment plan. You get what you pay for. and perhaps London needs to step up their water game.
It’s funny to think that these marine creatures who hold history in this environment are tweaking out. London, save the eels and do less!