Eels in Thames 'left hyperactive due to high levels of cocaine in water'

Eels in the Thames are becoming hyperactive because of the high levels of cocaine in the city’s waste water, scientists say.

New research by a team at King's College London found that Londoners are using the class A drug consistently throughout the week, with fears that it is hurting the river’s wildlife.

"Concentrations of cocaine and benzoylecgonine remained high in wastewater across the week with only a minor increase over the weekend, which is not consistent with other cities, “ the reseachers said in a paper.

"London is known as one of the highest consumers of cocaine and this suggested everyday usage."

Scientists using a monitoring station near the Houses of Parliament found there was a constant low level of cocaine entering the river, The Sunday Times reported.

London’s water treatment plants are failing to filter out the class A drug, while downpours are overwhelming waste plants and carry sewage into the river.

"Increases in caffeine, cocaine and benzoylecgonine were observed 24 hours after sewer overflow events,” the reseachers said.

The paper has been read alongside a separate report, published by the University of Naples Federico II last year, which showed European eels “appeared hyperactive” when put in water containing a small dose of cocaine.

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