Recently, a piece of salmon that was caught near Seattle was found to contain more than 80 drugs and personal-care products! Salmon is one of the healthiest types of fish in the world – its flesh contains high amount of omega-3s as well as proteins and other essential nutrients, but the specimen caught from Puget Sound was anything but healthy.
The flesh of this piece of fish contained traces of exactly 81 personal-care products and drugs such as Advil, Prozac, Lipitor and even cocaine! According to a report by a local newspaper, investigators were shocked by the high amount of drugs in the fish. This might be caused by two factors – either there’s a high percentage of drug users in the area, or the water isn’t fully and properly filtered. Some experts think that there are leaking septic tanks in the area with high fecal coliform count, which eventually ends up in the fish.
Jim Meador, toxicologist from the Northwest Fisheries Science Center says that the concentrations in the flesh were significantly higher than expected. The samples were gathered for two days and included both migrant juvenile salmon and resident sculpin. The chemicals were present in the flesh and water as well, which means that there are higher concentrations of drugs in deeper water. There were traces of OxyContin, antibiotics, Paxil, Valium, Tagamet, Zoloft and Flonase.
The team of scientists doesn’t concern themselves with the effect of the drugs on humans who will eat the fish, but rather with its effect on the wildlife. According to Meador, the migrant juvenile salmon in Puget Sound dies at a twice faster rate than fish elsewhere, which is a big cause for concern. At this rate, the contamination isn’t likely to drop anytime soon. According to reports, 97 000 tons pounds of chemicals and toxins are likely to enter Puget Sound in 2018. Just like plastic pollution, this is a man-made problem that we need to resolve sooner rather than later for our own sake.
Article and image source: myscienceacademy.org