Human drugs may be affecting Puget Sound salmon, report says

A male chinook salmon (Photo courtesy U.S. Geological Survey)

Antidepressants. Diabetes drugs. High-blood-pressure medication. Puget Sound chinook are doing our drugs, and it may be hurting them. That’s according to new research reported in a story from our online news partner The Seattle Times.

The response was particularly pronounced in Puget Sound chinook — a threatened species many other animals depend on for their survival, including critically endangered southern-resident killer whales, The Times said.

Wastewater-treatment plants have been engineered to clean out trash and remove and disinfect solids, The Times said, but they mostly can’t screen out drugs that people take — and express through elimination. The drugs pass through the plants into Puget Sound in wastewater effluent.

 You can read more in The Times here.


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