Prozac and other drugs in Puget Sound waters and fish,
some of the highest levels reported in the country
Photo credit: NOAA Fisheries, Univ. of WA
– Editor’s Note:
The issue of prescription drugs and chemicals in our area’s water has been covered here many times, most recently April 16, 2016, where I summarized all of those stories with this then-breaking news: “‘Drugs found in Puget Sound salmon’ – Wastewater treatment may be the cause”
Interestingly, then-area resident Ed Wiltsie (now deceased), BSCE, MSCE, PE (Professional Engineer) brought this issue before the Yelm City Council over a decade ago in making recommendations to address this issue in Yelm’s Public Works’ water and sewer systems. That fell on “deaf ears” and he did not even get the courtesy of a reply. Now, LOTT is taking this on.
– “LOTT studying effects of prescription medication, other chemicals in wastewater”
“The utility [The LOTT Clean Water Alliance, the sewer treatment utility that serves Thurston County] is about 3 1/2 years into a $5 million study that is expected to last about six years. And it’s not just looking at pharmaceuticals, but also chemicals created by toothpaste, cosmetics and fire retardants, he said.
So far, the study has examined the following areas:
▪ The quantity and specific chemicals in the wastewater stream.
▪ The amount of those chemicals found in groundwater and surface water.
▪ The utility’s effectiveness in treating those chemicals,” by Rolf Boone, The Olympian.
– “Drugged Up Fish Supply”
“In the past 30 days, nearly half of Americans have used at least one prescription drug. Nearly 22 percent used three or more during that timeframe and more than 10 percent used five or more.1
There are individual health repercussions of taking so many drugs, especially when unnecessary or inappropriately prescribed, but another often-overlooked consequence is turning up in the world’s waterways in the form of pharmaceutical pollution.
When you take a medication, only a fraction of it is metabolized by your body. The rest gets excreted in your urine or feces where it enters wastewater (and most water treatment plants are not equipped to remove drugs from the water supply).”
“Even the manufacture of pharmaceuticals may lead to higher drug contamination levels downstream from the factories (up to 1,000 times higher at some factories, according to the Harvard Health Letter).
Once in waterways, these unnatural chemicals pose not only a risk to humans’ drinking water supplies but also cause harm to marine life, in surprising and disturbing ways.”
“Antidepressants and Diabetes Drugs Detected in Puget Sound Fish”
“Puget Sound, which is located along the northwestern coast of Washington, is yet another body of water being inundated with contaminants from wastewater plant effluent.
A study by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries’ Northwest Fisheries Science Center detected 81 chemical compounds in the water, including the antidepressant Prozac and the diabetes medication metformin,” quoting Dr. Mercola.