Researchers have detected antidepressant drugs in the brains of fish captured downstream of sewage-treatment plants.
Pharmaceuticals taint waterways because people excrete many of the drugs they take but treatment plants don't extract all the chemicals (SN: 4/1/00, p. 212: More Waters Test Positive for Drugs). Concerned that antidepressants might be accumulating in fish, Melissa M. Schultz of the College of Wooster (Ohio), and Edward T. Furlong of the U.S. Geological Survey in Denver measured concentrations of several such medicines in river water and fish in Colorado. They tested for drugs including sertraline (Zoloft), fluoxetine (Prozac), and venlafaxine (Effexor).
Note: To comment, Science News subscribing members must now establish a separate login relationship with Disqus. Click the Disqus icon below, enter your e-mail and click “forgot password” to reset your password. You may also log into Disqus using Facebook, Twitter or Google.