Fish in U.S. Rivers Tainted With Common Medications

From US News and World Report:

Posted March 26, 2009

THURSDAY, March 26 (HealthDay News) — Fish from five U.S. rivers were found to be tainted with traces of medications and common chemicals, according to a new study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Baylor University.

The common antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an anticonvulsant and two types of antidepressants were among the seven types of pharmaceuticals found in the tissue and livers of fish from waterways in or near Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Orlando, Fla. Each river is considered “effluent-dominated,” because they receive large amounts of wastewater discharge from nearby sewage treatment plants.

While federal standards exist for treated wastewater, they do not address pharmaceuticals or most personal care products, and little is known about the effects they have on the environment and wildlife. This study is part of a federal strategy to address the issue.

Previous research has concluded that behavior vital for fish survival, such as mating and fighting, can be affected if too much antidepressant residue collects in their systems.

NP NowPublic

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This is not news. When you dispose of medications, put them in coffee grinds or cat litter in a bag, then in the trash. Some cities have hazardous wastes pick up sites to take medications and some pharmcies (I think CVS) will take them for proper disposal.

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