Navigation Links
Chemistry professor links feces and caffeine
Date:11/21/2011

This press release is available in French.

Researchers led by Prof. Sbastien Sauv of the University of Montreal's Department of Chemistry have discovered that traces of caffeine are a useful indicator of the contamination of our water by sewers. "E coli bacteria is commonly used to evaluate and regulate the levels of fecal pollution of our water from storm water discharge, but because storm sewers systems collect surface runoff, non-human sources can contribute significantly to the levels that are observed," Sauv explained. "Our study has determined that there is a strong correlation between the levels of caffeine in water and the level of bacteria, and that chemists can therefore use caffeine levels as an indicator of pollution due to sewerage systems."

The researchers took water samples from streams, brooks and storm sewer outfall pipes that collect storm waters across the Island of Montreal, and analyzed them for caffeine, fecal coliforms, and a third suspected indicator, carbamazepine. Shockingly, all the samples contained various concentrations of these contaminants, which would suggest that contamination is widespread in urban environments. Carbamazepine is an anti-seizure drug which is also increasingly used for various psychiatric treatments, and the researchers thought it might be a useful indicator because it degrades very slowly. However, unlike with caffeine, no correlation was found.

Caffeine degrades within a few weeks to 2-3 months in the environment and is very widely consumed. The presence of caffeine is also a sure indicator of human sewage contamination, as agriculture and industry do not tend to release caffeine into the environment. The team also noted that the data suggest that Montreal's storm water collection system is widely contaminated by domestic sewers. On the other hand, the researchers observed high levels of fecal coliforms but little or no caffeine in some of the samples, which they attribute to urban wildlife. "This data reveals that any water sample containing more than the equivalent of ten cups of coffee diluted in an Olympic-size swimming pool is definitely contaminated with fecal coliforms," Sauv said. "A caffeine sampling program would be relatively easy to implement and might provide a useful tool to identify sanitary contamination sources and help reduce surface water contamination within an urban watershed."


'/>"/>

Contact: William Raillant-Clark
w.raillant-clark@umontreal.ca
514-343-7593
University of Montreal
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Scripps research scientists develop brand new class of small molecules through innovative chemistry
2. Brain parasite directly alters brain chemistry
3. U of A chemistry team produces a game-changing catalyst
4. Scientists solve long-standing plant biochemistry mystery
5. Live from the scene: Biochemistry in action
6. Computational chemistry shows the way to safer biofuels
7. Acclaimed chemistry professor wins 2 major awards
8. For the love of trees: Book tells all about forest hydrology, biogeochemistry
9. Pocket chemistry: DNA helps glucose meters measure more than sugar
10. Click chemistry with copper -- a biocompatible version
11. Low dose naltrexone (LDN): Harnessing the bodys own chemistry to treat human ovarian cancer
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:1/20/2016)... A market that just keeps on growing. ... explosion in genomics knowledge. Learn all about it in ... of dynamic trends are pushing market growth and company ... pharmacogenomics - pathogen evolution - next generation sequencing - ... understanding of the role of genetic material in Disease ...
(Date:1/15/2016)... , Jan. 15, 2016 Recent publicized breaches ... to find new ways to ensure data security and ... iOS and Android that ties a ... transforming it into a hardware authorization token. Customer service ... their fingerprint on their KodeKey enabled device to verify ...
(Date:1/11/2016)...  higi, the leading retail and omni-channel community engagement ... and mobile, today announced it has closed funding ... --> --> ... higi,s health platform – its network of health ... expanding services and programs to retail partners and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:2/11/2016)... BEACH, Florida , February 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... PositiveID Corporation ("PositiveID" or "Company") (OTCQB: PSID), ... diagnostics, announced today that its Thermomedics subsidiary, which ... progress on its growth plan in January 2016, ... products distributors, increasing sequential monthly sales growth, and ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... than 150 years, continues today to pursue the highest level of accuracy and ... instruments: the AR9 Refractometer and the AR5 Refractometer. Accurate, reliable and tough ...
(Date:2/11/2016)... ... February 11, 2016 , ... ... cell treatment clinic in Quito, Ecuador. The new facility will provide advanced protocols ... patients from around the world. , The new GSCG clinic is headed ...
(Date:2/10/2016)... WASHINGTON , February 10, 2016 Early-career ... , Peru , Uganda ... their life-enhancing work in health and nutrition   Indonesia ... Uganda and Yemen are ... sciences and epidemiology. They are also celebrated for mentoring young women scientists ...
Breaking Biology Technology: