[Pharmwaste] Juvenile salmon brains likely contain 'very high levels' of antidepressants - Seattle article
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
Tue Mar 1 08:07:28 EST 2016
Antidepressants and other drugs in Puget Sound water flowing over juvenile Chinook salmon gills and otherwise getting into their systems are building up in their brains and bodies.
And, well, that just can't be good. But, fact is, we don't know what it's doing to them. Hell, we hardly know what it's doing to us in the long run.
Nevertheless, a new study by James Meador with NOAA Fisheries in the Northwest has found some 92 chemicals from common drugs in Puget Sound water and bodies of young salmon and Pacific staghorn sculpin.
Meador et al write in their recently published study "Contaminants of emerging concern in a large temperate estuary":
"Many of these are common household chemicals that pass through wastewater treatment, have been approved for use and/or consumption by the general public, and are generally considered to be non-toxic. However, the higher-than-expected levels for some of these chemicals in aquatic organisms and possibly aquatic-dependent wildlife along with critical gaps in toxicological and risk assessment data underscores their importance for further investigation in the context of environmental and public health concerns."
Man, you think?
We're using a bunch of these drugs to get us through the winters here (at least) and flushing and peeing this stuff into sewer systems that are largely not designed to take the chemicals out. But, okay. What's the skinning?
"It is noteworthy that our estuarine water samples were collected several hundred meters from the effluent outfalls and at a depth of only (2 meters), thus reported concentrations likely underestimate those occurring in deeper water and closer to outfalls. The effluent plume is expected to move horizontally with currents before substantial mixing occurs."
So, it's worse than even their study found. More ...
* In our study, 16 antibiotic compounds were detected in water and fish tissue.
* Two of the antidepressants, sertraline and fluoxetine, are especially noteworthy because these were observed in juvenile Chinook ... Because brain tissue preferentially accumulates sertraline and fluoxetine and exhibits concentrations that are higher than other tissues, whole-body concentrations are likely lower than that expected for brain tissue, suggesting that brain tissue of juvenile Chinook salmon in our study contained very high levels of these antidepressants.
There's that money quote.
* Personal care products: Triclosan and triclocarban (antibiotics used in toothpaste and similar stuff) were detected in effluent and salmon tissue.
* (Lipid fat reducing drugs) A number of compounds that target metabolic abnormalities (e.g. metabolic regulators) such as elevated lipids and hyperglycemia were observed in effluent, estuarine water, and fish tissue. These include atorvastatin, gemfibrozil, glipizide, glyburide, metformin, and simvastatin and they have the potential to act as metabolic disruptors affecting growth, lipid homeostasis, and energy balance in nontarget organisms when introduced to the environment.
These are just the highlights of this pretty shocking study. Here's that painful punchline we've alluded to:
A noteworthy outcome of the present study is the occurrence of several compounds in water and tissue that have the potential to affect fish growth, behavior, reproduction, immune function, and antibiotic resistance. One recent review provides a summary of studies on the effects of endocrine disruptors on immune system in fish (Milla et al., 2011). Many of these agents, such as metformin [a diabetes drug], may impact multiple systems such as growth and reproductive pathways.
It is unlikely that the level of exposure for these compounds would result in direct mortality to estuarine organisms; however, all of the above mentioned responses could lead to indirect mortality or reduced population fitness.
As noted by Spromberg and Meador (2005) and Meador (2014) even a minor inhibition in juvenile salmonid immune function or growth likely results in a major impact on survivability during their first year in marine waters.
Looks like a good time to figure out either how to get this out of our waste water or at least understand more about how these drugs are changing the world around us ... as well as in us.
Jake Ellison can be reached at 206-448-8334 or jakeellison at seattlepi.com<mailto:jakeellison at seattlepi.com>. Follow Jake on Twitter at twitter.com/Jake_News<https://twitter.com/Jake_News>. Also, swing by and *LIKE* his page on Facebook<https://www.facebook.com/jakeellisonnews>. If Google Plus is your thing, check out our science coverage here<https://plus.google.com/b/117812272041622443484/117812272041622443484/posts>.
Waste Reduction Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Road, MS4555
Tallahassee, FL 32399
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us<mailto:Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us>
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