Thursday, February 25, 2016

Let's Hope the Fish Died Happy

Tourists visiting Seattle usually head to the Pike Place market to catch the fishmongers putting on a show of salmon tossing.

It's all a bit of harmless fun but the fish themselves may not be. Tests have found that Seattle-area salmon are real druggies.

The everyday chemicals that humans ingest to relieve pain, fight depression and diabetes, or treat infection are winding up in the tissue of fish in Washington's Puget Sound.

A study in the journal Environmental Pollution detected unusually high levels of drugs like Advil, Benadryl, Prozac, and even birth control pills, in the tissue of salmon.

The culprit, according to the study, is human waste.

"About 45 of the 150 chemicals we examined were found in the fish," said James Meador, the lead author of the study and an aquatic toxicologist working with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. "Some of them were at high concentrations. That's the kind of information that raises eyebrows.

"Over 4,000 pharmaceuticals are currently in use or in development in the United States. Many of them are finding their way into rivers, streams, and lakes, raising concerns about how exposure could impact wildlife, or even humans who consume fish."

There are new technologies that can strip this sort of chemical contamination in the process of treating waste water but they're expensive.


Anonymous said...

People are generally quite stupid and easily entertained by the most base sort of things. I've been to this fish market and found this fish-tossing experience disgusting.

There is astounding levels of disrespect for the things we kill. We've little regard for them in life, and even less regard in death.

Nobody cares, nobody is paying attention (generally speaking). Going along with this wholesale slaughter and disrespect is what is expected of everyone today (as the crowd laughs and claps), but it's never been right and it never will be right.

I do enjoy your blog, recently bookmarked.

Anonymous said...

I fully agree with the comment above.
Killing other creatures for our own sustenance is sacrosanct.

While pharmaceuticals (only a few, mostly hormones) might be impacting aquatic wildlife, concentrations are too low to adversely affect humans. Pesticides and herbicides found in drinking (mostly well) water is a different story...