Unusually large traces of Viagra found in Seoul sewers

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Viagra Night Light for Erectile Dysfunction in Seoul Erection

The Hongdae shopping district in Seoul, South Korea. Photo: SeongJoon Cho / Bloomberg via Getty Images

Unusually high traces of Viagra and other drugs used to treat erectile dysfunction have been found in Seoul’s sewage, researchers said in a recent article, suggesting a flourishing black market for the pills.

Samples from the South Korean capital’s sewers were taken in April 2018, but the study was only published earlier this month in the journal. Scientific reports. The researchers found that erectile dysfunction drug levels appeared to increase on weekends and in areas with bars, clubs, and adult entertainment businesses.

They found concentrations of the drug made by Pfizer, sildenafil, more commonly known by the brand name Viagra, in amounts three to four times higher than in Brussels and two to five times higher than in Copenhagen.

Principal researcher Kim Hyunook, professor of environmental engineering at Seoul University, said he was inspired to look into the matter after a friend told him the pills were easily acquired in Seoul nightlife.

“The amount of chemicals found in the wastewater was much higher than it should be. This means that a large amount of drugs are used illegally without a prescription, ”Kim told VICE World News.

He added that because the wastewater was generally treated and discharged separately from the drinking water supply, there was no apparent risk to the general public. But he called for better government regulation as there could be unintended consequences.

“I don’t think chemicals would directly affect people because they usually don’t drink the water. But we would never know how it would affect the environment and how it would give us long-term ripple effects, ”Kim warned.

The team said a regular monitoring system and management program “should be developed to prevent the release of pharmaceuticals into the aquatic environment.”

Erectile dysfunction is a common problem among men all over the world. According to one estimate, around 322 million people will face this problem by 2025. In South Korea, around 23% of men between the ages of 30 and 39 said they could not have an erection, according to a study.

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