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Pharmaceuticals In The Water

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Pharmaceuticals In The Water

Postby delawarebass » Mon Apr 27, 2009 6:45 pm

More evidence has come to light recently that aquatic life is being exposed to a deadly *beep* of Pharmaceuticals. The USGS confirmed that a recent study detected the presence of drugs, hormones, steroids, and other products in about 80% of the U.S. waters sampled. Researchers say that almost all forms of aquatic life are being exposed to trace amounts of everything from Prozac to birth control pills, and some beleive that the exposure is in high enough concentrations to impact the health and reproductive systems of wildlife. About 80% of all the rivers and streams sampled in 2002, contained trace amounts of pharmaceuticals. The samples were taken in 139 rivers in 30 states. Researchers are now working on several fronts to determine the short and long term effects this will have on wildlife. A researcher discovered Prozac, an antidepressant, in the brains, livers, and muscles of Bluegill caught downstream of a plant in Dallas, Texas. Antidepressants have the same effect on fish that they do on people. They tend to relax them. That s not a good thing for fish. While these medications were discovered in fish in the wild, other researchers are studying fish in the laboratory to determine just how these medications will effect them. Marsha Black, a toxicologist, found that low levels of Prozac, Zoloft, Paxil, and Celexa, cause developmental problems in fish, and metamorphosis delays in frogs. In Mosquito fish, markers of sexual maturity were delayed in both males and females, and metamorphosis in frogs was also delayed. Timing is critical to the survival of many aquatic creatures, and this may cause a real problem in many species. Sewage treatment plants are not equipped to filter out any of the hundreds of different prescription drugs that are present in wastewater. And it s not clear how they would approach the cost or technology of such a challenge. Because prescriptions like antidepressants are for chronic conditions, patients often take them for months and years at a time, making them more likely to build up in wastewater, and subsequently, in the nations fisheries.

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