Drug Runoff

Sam Machkovech, reporting for Ars Technica:

Last week, the American Chemical Society released the results of a 2011 study that analyzed water contamination levels measured before, during, and after a massive music festival in Taiwan. In news that shocked roughly 27 parents, the 600,000-plus crowd of young people who stormed that year’s Spring Scream fest introduced considerable amounts of MDMA (ecstasy), caffeine, and antibiotics into nearby rivers, along with a range of over-the-counter, prescription, and illegal drugs.

What was less obvious, according to the study (which was coordinated by multiple medical research facilities in Taiwan), was the intense impact an isolated, highly attended event could have on a region’s ecology. “To our knowledge, up to now no study has comprehensively dealt with Emerging Contaminants (ECs) residues and demonstrated the impact of tourism—especially of a time limited mass event,” the report stated.

Always two there are, no more, no less: a human and a consequence.