The content of Paracetamol in the waters of the Bay of Jakarta is still small, researchers: not yet deadly

Researcher from the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences from the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Etty Riani, said that the waters of Jakarta Bay that were contaminated with paracetamol were still small. Therefore, the contamination of Jakarta Bay waters with paracetamol is considered not yet deadly.

Based on research from the Oceanographic Center of the Indonesian Institute of Sciences (LIPI)-National Research and Technology Agency (BRIN), the concentration of paracetamol in the waters of Jakarta Bay is 420-610 nanograms per liter (ng/L). This means that there are 420-610 grams of paracetamol in 1 million cubic meters of sea water.

Residents enjoy the sunset over Jakarta Bay, 7 June 2019, the day before World Oceans Day.  (AFP)

Residents enjoy the sunset over Jakarta Bay, 7 June 2019, the day before World Oceans Day. (AFP)

“If you look at the amount of 600 ng/L, it is non-acute so it doesn’t kill immediately. So when there is news that many fish have died because of paracetamol, that’s an unscientific statement. Because it’s not lethal in that amount,” he said at a press conference. online, Tuesday (5/10).

Researcher from the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences from the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Etty Riani, Tuesday 5 October 2021. (Mouab)

Researcher from the Faculty of Fisheries and Marine Sciences from the Bogor Agricultural University (IPB), Etty Riani, Tuesday 5 October 2021. (Mouab)

However, said Etty, if paracetamol levels continue to be left in the waters of Jakarta Bay, it will potentially have an impact on secondary physiological disturbances to microorganisms. “This still has to be considered because the environment is a system that is interrelated with one another,” he said.

Therefore, further treatment is needed so as not to cause interference. “Socialization to the community, if you want a clean, healthy and comfortable environment, then every individual must care about the environment,” said Etty.

Ancol and Angke Contaminated with Paracetamol

BRIN Oceanographic Researcher, Prof. Zainal Arifin, explained that this research on paracetamol and pollutants had been carried out from 2017 to 2020 in five locations, namely Angke, Ancol, Tanjung Priuk, Cilincing and Eretan Beach in Jakarta Bay. Paracetamol content was detected in two locations, namely Ancol and Angke.

BRIN Oceanography Researcher, Prof. Zainal Arifin, Tuesday 5 October 2021. (Mouab)

BRIN Oceanography Researcher, Prof. Zainal Arifin, Tuesday 5 October 2021. (Mouab)

“The physical parameters of the water temperature are safe for biota. Dissolved heavy metals are generally safe. Some exceed the quality standards, namely nutrients such as ammonia, nitrate, and total phosphate. As for policlorobifenili (PCB) and pesticides below the quality standard threshold (safe for marine biota),” he explained.

Meanwhile, Director General of Waste and B3 Waste Management (PSLB3), Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, said that there was no water quality standard related to paracetamol. Currently, paracetamol which is the subject of this research is part of various efforts in the world to conduct research on Contaminants of Emerging Concern (CEC).

CECs are synthetic or natural chemicals that are not normally monitored in the environment. However, it has the potential to enter the environment and cause effects that are known or suspected to have ecological and human health effects. These new contaminants arise because there is not enough knowledge to ascertain the side effects of chemicals, so that the risks associated with public health and the environment can be understood.

Director General of Waste and Hazardous Waste Management (PSLB3) KLHK, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, Tuesday 5 October 2021. (Mouab)

Director General of Waste and Hazardous Waste Management (PSLB3) KLHK, Rosa Vivien Ratnawati, Tuesday 5 October 2021. (Mouab)

“Currently there is no water quality standard related to paracetamol and this includes emerging pollutan. From the exposure of experts, the amount is also relatively small, and it is unlikely to interfere with health,” he said.

To follow up the management of pharmaceutical chemicals and Contaminants of Emerging Concern, the Ministry of Environment and Forestry (KLHK) and BRIN will establish Working Group Management Contaminants of Emerging Concern, in collaboration with relevant technical ministries and universities. The Ministry of Environment and Forestry also cooperates with the Ministry of Health to disseminate information to the public about the proper use of medicines, especially medicines that can be purchased freely in the market. [aa/em]

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