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Home / Health / Clams from Puget Sound test positive for opioids, other drugs

Clams from Puget Sound test positive for opioids, other drugs



But that was not all, according to biologist Jennifer Lanksbury of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife. In the midst of a national opioid crisis, opioid could be the most prominent contaminant, but it could be the most worrying.

The mussels also contained four types of synthetic surfactants – the chemicals that are found in detergents and cleaners – seven types of antibiotics, five types of antidepressants, more than one antidiabetic and one chemotherapeutic.

Surfactants are particularly known to exert an estrogenic effect on organisms so that they affect the hormonal system of some animals in an estrogenic manner, such as feminizing male fish and reproducting female fish before they are ready, Lanksbury

Scientists have not investigated whether mussels are damaged by oxycodone. However, the presence of this drug in the mollusc speaks to the high numbers of people in the urban areas around the Puget Sound who take these medicines, Lanksbury said.

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"Many of the pharmaceuticals are likely to come from our sewage They get the water that comes from our toilets and our homes and our hospitals and so we take those drugs and we then excrete them into our urine so they can get into the treatment plant way, "said Lanksbury. "Some people unfortunately flush their drugs to the bathroom, and that's a huge source of these drugs."

"The doses of oxycodone we found in shells are 100 to 500 times lower than for an adult male therapeutic dose," she said. "So you would have to eat 150 pounds of shellfish from these contaminated areas to get even a small dose, but only the fact that it's there tells us it's entering our waters, at least in urban areas."

The study's findings indicate that toxic contaminants are invading the food web of the larger Puget Sound, particularly along the shores near Seattle and other urban areas.

"What tells us is that some of these substances come from our wastewater treatment plants. They either have to control the sources better or try to reduce the exposure at Puget Sound," Lanksbury said.

The results are from a special small study. Every other year, she and her colleagues monitor fish and shellfish from the Puget Sound – specifically herring, English sole, chinook salmon and finally mussels.

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"Shells have a simpler system than fish, and that makes them great for monitoring," said Lanksbury ,

Fish can metabolize some chemicals, but not the mussels, so that in many cases they can better reveal impurities in the water. To test the water, Lanksbury and her team pick up clean shells and place them in cages with antipedator. Citizen Science volunteers sponsor the cages at low tide into the inner tidal area of ​​the Puget Sound and the scientists collect them after a few months.

The group began shellfish monitoring in the winter of 2013 and conducted two more studies in 2016 and 2018.

During its biennial reviews, the group routinely tests samples for a range of contaminants: polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs); polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), which are flame retardants; polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are chemicals produced by burning fossil fuels; chlorinated pesticides, including dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) compounds; and six metals: lead, copper, zinc, mercury, arsenic and cadmium.
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Recently, Lanksbury and her colleagues had access to additional funding.

"We have decided that it is important for us to look for" contaminants of emerging concerns, "she said. This term refers to medicines and personal care products – including prescription medicines, detergents, shampoos and microplastic beads – that are increasingly being detected in waterways such as Puget Sound.

"We have sent 18 samples (from shells) to a lab in Canada asking for a range of pharmaceutical and personal care products," Lanksbury said. "When this data came back to us, we found oxycodone in three of these 18 samples."

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

"For us, this means that the oxycodone problem is specific to the urban waters of Puget Sound, all other areas tested did not have oxycodone.

" All our species indicate where the contamination is in Puget Sound " she explained, "Most shores of Puget Sound are pretty clean. It is these highly urbanized places where we are beginning to worry about the level of pharmaceuticals and personal care products.

The population of Puget Sound is set to double in the next 10 to 20 years, Lanksbury noted. A large portion of this population is expected to live on the coast, and urban centers around the country are also growing.

"It is a nationwide problem, "Lanksbury said.

A US Geological Survey study found measurable results in quantities of one or more drugs in 80% of the water samples coming from 139 streams in 30 states.

the sewage treatment mechanisms have improved and improvements continue to be made.

In the meantime, Seattle residents "need to remember that what they do at home, what they lay on their lawn, what they put into the Puget Sound rinse, "she said," The Puget Sound is a gem in Washington, and if we all work together to keep it clean, we can make great progress mac hen. "


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