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Saturday, July 10, 2010

More than an oil spill: Antidepressants damaging sealife

D. Telegraph 7.7.10.

Antidepressants in sea may damage food chain

Antidepressants in effluent released in coastal waters could change the behaviour of sea-life & damage the food chain, scientists say. Shrimps exposed to Fluoxetine (fluoride-containing medical drug - Prozac) were 5 x more likely to swim towards light instead of away from it. This makes them vulnerable to fish & birds. Previously crustaceons have hidden away in dark places under seaweed & rocks. It is thought the fluoxetine may be changing the serotonin levels in their brains. Dr. Alex Ford of Portsmouth University said "Shrimps are taking on the excreted drugs of whole towns." The effects of human antibiotics, blood pressure pills & statins on sea creatures are also being studied around the world.

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