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In one of the first attempts to examine pharmaceutical pollution in rivers around the world, a new study found numerous medicines at potentially toxic levels in more than one-quarter of the waterways, indicating the contaminants pose a global threat to environmental and human health.

Moreover, the most contaminated sites were located in low-to-middle-income countries. In particular, the most troubling pollution was seen in areas with pharmaceutical manufacturing, poor wastewater, and inadequate infrastructure for waste management, according to the study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

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