Mussels in the Puget Sound test in Washington tested positive for opioids, other drugs




The mussels also contained four types of synthetic surfactants – the chemicals found in detergents and cleaning products – seven types of antibiotics, five types of antidepressants, more than one antidiabetic drug and one chemotherapy agent.

The mussels also contained four types of synthetic surfactants, the chemicals found in detergents and cleaning products, seven types of antibiotics, five types of antidepressants, more than one antidiabetic and one chemotherapy agent.

SEATTLE – Seafood on the Puget Sound, an entrance to the Pacific Ocean along the northwest coast of Washington tested positive for the prescribed opioid oxycodone.

But that was not all, according to the biologist of the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife of Washington, Jennifer Lanksbury. In the midst of a national opiate crisis, the opioid may be the most striking pollutant found, but it could be the least disturbing.

The mussels also contained four types of synthetic surfactants: the chemicals found in detergents and cleaning products. – seven types of antibiotics, five types of antidepressants, more than one antidiabetic drug and one chemotherapy agent.

Surfactants, in particular, are "known to have an estrogenic effect on organisms, so they affect the hormonal system of some animals in an estrogenic form, such as the feminization of male fish and the reproductive reproduction of females before they are ready, "Lanksbury explained.

Scientists have not studied whether mussels are damaged by oxycodone. However, the presence of this drug in the mollusc speaks of the large number of people in the urban areas around Puget Sound who take this drug, Lanksbury said.

"Many of the pharmaceutical products are likely to come out of our wastewater treatment plants, they receive the water that comes from our bathrooms and our homes and our hospitals, and we take these drugs, and then we excrete them in our urine to that they get to the wastewater treatment plant that way. " Lanksbury said. "Unfortunately, some people throw their medications into the toilet, and that's a great source of these pharmaceuticals."

"The doses of oxycodone that we find in mussels are between 100 and 500 times lower than what you would need for an adult male therapeutic dose," he said. "So you would have to eat 150 pounds of mussels from these contaminated areas to even get a small dose." But the mere fact that it is present tells us that it is getting into our waters, at least in urban areas. "

The findings of the study suggest that toxic contaminants are entering the trophic network of the greater Puget Sound, especially as along the coasts near Seattle and other urban areas.

"What this tells us is that part of these things come from our wastewater treatment plants, so we must do a better job either to control the sources or to try to reduce exposure in Puget Sound, "Lanksbury said.

The results are from a special small-scale study.Every two years, she and her colleagues monitor Puget Sound fish and seafood, specifically herring, flounder English, Chinook salmon and more recently mussels.

"Mussels have a simpler system than fish, and that makes them excellent for monitoring," Lanksbury said.

Sometimes they can metabolize some chemicals, but mussels do not, so in many cases, they are better at revealing pollutants in the water. To test the water, Lanksbury and his team get clean mussels and place them in antipredator cages. Citizen science volunteers park the cages in the inner tidal area of ​​the Puget Sound at low tide, and scientists pick them up after several months.

The group began monitoring mussels in the winter of 2013 and conducted two additional surveys in 2016 and 2018. [19659004] During their biennial reviews, the group routinely tests samples for a set of contaminants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDE), which are flame retardants; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are chemical products resulting from the combustion of fossil fuels; chlorinated pesticides, including dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) compounds; and six metals: lead, copper, zinc, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.

Recently, Lanksbury and his colleagues had access to additional funds.

"We decided it was important for us to start looking for contaminants of concern," she said. This term refers to pharmaceutical and personal care products – including prescription drugs, detergents, shampoos and microplastic beads – that are increasingly detected in water courses, such as Puget Sound.

"We sent 18 samples (of mussels) to a laboratory in Canada and ordered a set of pharmaceutical and personal care products," Lanksbury said. "When we got the data, we found oxycodone in three of those 18 samples."

One of the samples came from the coast of Seattle, and the other two came from near Bremerton, he said.

So, for us, that says that the problem of oxycodone is specific to the urban waters of the Puget Sound. All other areas evaluated did not have oxycodone.

"All our species indicate where pollution is reaching the Puget Sound," he explained. "Most of the Puget Sound coasts are pretty clean, it's these highly urbanized places where we start to worry about the levels of pharmaceutical and personal care products."

The population of Puget Sound will double in the next 10 to 20 years, Lanksbury said, and a high proportion of that population is expected to live on the coast. Urban centers throughout the country are also growing.

"It's a national problem," Lanksbury said.

A study conducted by the US Geological Survey. UU He found measurable amounts of one or more medications in 80% of the samples of water extracted from 139 streams in 30 states.

Still, he is hopeful because the wastewater treatment mechanisms have improved and improvements continue to be made. And the public is realizing the problem.

Meanwhile, Seattle residents need to "keep in mind that what they do at home, what they put on the lawn, what they throw into the toilet ends up on the Puget Sound," she said. "Puget Sound is a jewel in Washington, and if we all work together to keep it clean, we can make great progress."

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