Public urination at Glastonbury Festival leaves traces of cocaine and MDMA in river

Researchers at Bangor College in Wales found excessive ranges of cocaine and MDMA within the Whitelake River, which runs by means of Worthy Farm, the place the hugely-popular music competition is normally held with greater than 200,000 attendees.

The research discovered MDMA concentrations quadrupled the week after the 2019 competition, whereas cocaine concentrations reached ranges beforehand proven to have an effect on the life cycle of European eels — that are current within the river and are critically endangered.

Christian Dunn, a professor in wetland science at Bangor College, who led the research, informed CNN Tuesday that the degrees of unlawful medication had been “high enough to be classed as environmentally damaging,” though he added the caveat that ranges “decline pretty quickly after Glastonbury has finished.”

Dunn collaborated on the research with Masters scholar Dan Aberg, who labored alongside Daniel Chaplin, from the Centre for Environmental Biotechnology, to measure ranges of unlawful medication within the river earlier than, throughout and after the final Glastonbury Pageant in 2019.

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The researchers mentioned the rise in drug ranges had come from competition goers urinating in public, inflicting the chemical compounds to ultimately enter the river — which occurs significantly rapidly in moist climate situations.

“This has highlighted the fact that stopping public urination is so important,” Dunn mentioned. “Not just for the traditional pollutants, which we’ve kind of known about, but for these these types of pollutants, which we’re only now really just becoming aware of — pharmaceutical waste, illicit drug waste — these are important.”

Though Dunn praised the work executed by the competition to sort out the problem of public urination, he mentioned there was a necessity for extra analysis to determine the consequences of unlawful medication on ecosystems.

“We need to start highlighting the dangers of these drugs to the public and to festival goers and saying, ‘look, another reason why you should not be peeing on the ground, go and use the loos, go and use the facilities,'” he mentioned.

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Dunn urged therapy wetlands and reed mattress methods could possibly be used to assist “break down and filter out” pollution flowing into the river and shield wildlife.

The researchers additionally monitored the close by Redlake River, however discovered no important modifications in ranges of unlawful medication across the time of the competition — suggesting the rise was instantly linked to Glastonbury Pageant.

Glastonbury Pageant organizers mentioned in a press release to CNN that that they had a “thorough and successful waterways sampling regime” in place — agreed with the Surroundings Company — which didn’t increase any considerations in 2019.

Nonetheless, Dunn informed CNN the Surroundings Company was “generally looking for things like ammonia and nitrates and other types of pollutants,” quite than unlawful medication.

“Peeing on the land is something we will continue to strongly discourage at future Festivals. We also do not condone the use of illegal drugs at Glastonbury,” the competition’s assertion added.

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“We are keen to see full details of this new research, and would be very happy to work with the researchers to understand their results and recommendations.”

The research was printed within the journal Environmental Analysis earlier this month.