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Pharmaceuticals found in fish across U.S.

By on Jan 28, 2018 in Baby Boomers, CANCER, NUTRITION |

Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants serving five major U.S. cities had residues of pharmaceuticals in them, including medicines used to treat high cholesterol, allergies, high blood pressure, bipolar disorder and depression, researchers reported Wednesday.

Findings from this first nationwide study of human drugs in fish tissue have prompted the Environmental Protection Agency to significantly expand similar ongoing research to more than 150 different locations.

“The average person hopefully will see this type of a study and see the importance of us thinking about water that we use every day, where does it come from, where does it go to? We need to understand this is a limited resource and we need to learn a lot more about our impacts on it,” said study co-author Bryan Brooks, a Baylor University researcher and professor who has published more than a dozen studies related to pharmaceuticals in the environment.


Dr. Wegmann

Dr. Michael Wegmann’s Thoughts:

I believe one on the biggest threats to our health today is the chemicals and toxins found in our environment. I actively encourage my patients to avoid as many toxins as possible. Unfortunately we are exposed to toxins on a daily basis from multiple sources.

Waste flowing from sewage-treatment plants is ending up in fish. The highest levels were in the fish’s brains and livers. Fortunately, the muscles commonly eaten in fish fillets had much lower levels. In the United States water-quality standards do not regulate pharmaceuticals in reclaimed waste water. With water reclamation becoming increasingly important in the country’s arid western states, drug compounds could become more widespread in rivers and streams.

This article is alarming and sad. Not only do we have to worry about mercury in fish, we now have to think about the anti-depressants someone excreted. Nearly all fish and shellfish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they’ve had more time to accumulate it. These large fish (swordfish, shark, king mackerel and tilefish) pose the greatest risk. Other types of fish and shellfish may be eaten in the amounts recommended by FDA and EPA. The FDA limit for mercury is 1ppm which stands for part per million.