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Contamination of rivers by MRI?

The toxic compound of Gadolinium in contrast agents for magnetic resonance imaging, it was found in increased quantity in rivers. This suggests that using magnetic resonance imaging, our environment is considerably contaminated and in dire need of new public policies and technologies to protect the environment are required before Gadolinium.

In the current investigation, a research team under the direction of Professor Kazumasa Inoue of Tokyo Metropolitan University, it was found that increased levels of pollution caused by Gadolinium are present in the rivers. The results of the study were published in the English scientific journal “Marine Pollution Bulletin”.

What is Gadolinium?

Gadolinium is included in contrast agents, which be given to persons undergoing medical magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) under. Laboratory experiments have shown that Gadolinium when exposed to UV can move the light back into a toxic state. Therefore, it is important to trace how much of the Gadolinium in the environment. The researchers to measure started on how much Gadolinium in the rivers of Tokyo gets.

Advantages of magnetic resonance imaging

Modern medicine thanks to magnetic resonance imaging a lot. By tumors, inflammation and bleeding can be deeply identified in the human body, without the need for an invasive surgical intervention is required. In addition, people are exposed to a magnetic resonance imaging no ionizing radiation. The many advantages have led to the fact that MRI machines are common today, more than ever before. So there was, for example, in 1995 in Japan 6,12 devices per Million inhabitants, in the year 2017 there were already 55,21, what is considered to be the world’s highest number of devices per Million inhabitants.

What is the role of contrast agents in MRI play?

Magnetic resonance imaging is often performed using contrast agents, this makes the characteristics inside the body at the Scans more clearly. In the contrast agents, the Gadolinium is included, originally a toxic Element, which has been made for the medical application.

Increased amount of Gadolinium in the water

The research group gathered for the study in a number of places along the many large rivers of Tokyo in different samples. They found a significant increase in the quantity of Gadolinium in the water.

High Gadolinium-values in the vicinity of the water treatment plants

The significantly increased values of Gadolinium have been identified in rivers, which were located in the vicinity of the water treatment plants. This underlines the need for new public policies and technologies for the removal of Gadolinium, also against the Background that magnetic resonance imaging is nowadays used more and more frequently, report the researchers.

As the toxins in the environment?

After fulfilling his task 98 percent of the contrast agent will be excreted within 24 hours with the urine from the body of the affected Person and so find their way into the sewage system. Ordinary sewage treatment plants can not remove included Gadolinium, so that it, if even in small quantities, directly in the environment.

How should we respond to the results?

As more MRI-be installed devices, are an open dealing with the problems and adaptation of technology is of crucial importance. Thus, the negative impact of this well-established, life-saving could be reduced in in medical technology on the environment. (as)