Anti-depressants in rivers are playing head games with fish

      Home » Science & Technology » Anti-depressants in rivers are playing head games with fish

Anti-depressants in rivers are playing head games with fish

A new study shows that fish downstream from wastewater plants are affected by the concentrations of antidepressants found int eh water leading them to display unusual behaviors such as hanging vertical and not eating.

In the fish world, baby is just another word for lunch. So it behooves aquatic larvae to be ever vigilant. Yet those who as embryos or hatchlings encountered water polluted with trace concentrations of an antidepressant are much more likely to become lunch.

Tons of medicine ends up in the environment each year. Much has been excreted by patients. Leftover pills may also have been flushed down the toilet. Because water treatment plants were never designed to remove pharmaceuticals, water released into rivers by these plants generally carries a broad and diverse array of drug residues.

In 2006, a pair of chemists reported that antidepressants downstream of water treatment plants were making it into the brains of fish.

Meghan McGee of St. Cloud State University in Minnesota studies larval fathead minnows. Recently she set out to see whether exposure to specific antidepressants would affect the fish.

Fish exposed as embryos or hatchlings to trace concentrations of the antidepressant venlafaxine, marketed as Effexor, didn’t react as quickly as normal to stimuli signaling a possible predator. This laid-back reaction could prove to be a “death sentence,” she observes.

McGee’s is one of many studies probing behavioral impacts on aquatic wildlife from pharmaceutical pollution, especially antidepressants. Emerging data from these studies were reported in Tampa, Fla. November 16-20 at the North America annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, or SETAC. Overall, the studies show that antidepressants can impair a fish’s ability to eat, to avoid being eaten — and perhaps even to attract a mate.

... Quote:
I was surprised how often I was seeing these antidepressants. Pretty much any water sample in the vicinity of a wastewater treatment plant will test positive for some group of antidepressants.

The most common ones showing up in water: venlafaxine, bupropion — marketed as Wellbutrin, and citalopram — sold as Celexa. What showed up in fish brains were both the drugs and their metabolites, or breakdown products.
recalls Melissa Schultz.

Some hybrid striped bass exposed to Prozac eventually began hanging vertically in the water — a highly anomalous pose — and stopped eating.

Much more on the link

depressed-fish.jpg - 7.03kb
By netchicken: posted on 27-11-2008

I was told by a doctor that this is not very likely.

The antidepressants such as venlafaxine are complex compounds and dissolve readily in water. This being the case, the chemical is no longer the antidepressant. Now, you just have a bunch of different chemicals as the compound is broken down.
That is to say, it is no longer antidepressants.

You'll not find the antidepressants in the brains of the fish.

The key here is that the stuff is quickly dissolved and broken down in water.

More than likely, tofu-laden feces of liberals causing the fish to act in illogical and self-destructive manners. :)
By Thomas_Crowne: posted on 27-11-2008

Anti-depressants in rivers are playing head games with fish | [Login ]
Powered by XMB
Privacy Policy