ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — A government study finds that potentially harmful chemicals and pharmaceuticals are widespread in Minnesota streams.

The study by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency also shows fish undergo genetic changes when exposed to the mix of chemicals.

Agency scientist Mark Ferrey tells Minnesota Public Radio the substances that scientists most often found included antibiotics, antidepressants and a drug used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

The agency’s scientists collected water samples from 25 sewage treatment plants across Minnesota. They also sampled water upstream and downstream from the treatment plants for 78 chemicals.

He says the drug compounds are all found at very low concentrations, but that doesn’t mean they’re harmless. He says more research is needed to understand the effects on aquatic life.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. HELPER says:

    Thanks to republicans and deregulation, this is what you will see more of.

    Oh wait! I’m sure the baby jesus will clean it up…

  2. lolo42 says:

    we are have to waste drugs down the drain at work, I really disagree with it…

    1. JamieinMN says:

      There are other ways. Maybe you should voice your concern with your employer.

  3. Mike Hunt says:

    Maybe this is the cause for all the stupidity. Our polliticians must be closest to the contamination.

  4. Mike Hunt says:

    Oh ya “HELPER”, we will see what the little baby jesus will clean up. Looks like
    there’s some clean up needed on isle #1, A.K.A. Japan.

  5. Mark says:

    This is a problem we will be facing more and more in the future. Our current concept of waste water treatment has no step for removing pharmaceuticals. They essentially accumulate in our water systems. Many by products and active ingredients are incredibly stable and you will be drinking them over and over. Particularly troublesome are the hormone like drugs which even in low concentrations can have large effects on biology due to the way hormones work as signaling agents in the body. Filtration systems are very expensive to remove these items as compared to typical waste treatment.

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