So, every two years, scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW) transplant uncontaminated mussels, raised in pristine waters, to various locations in Puget Sound, according to the statement.
"Since mussels are 'filter feeders, ' they absorb contaminants from their environment into their tissues in a concentrated way".
Still, the discovery of opioid-positive shellfish in Puget Sound is a stark new milestone in the epidemic, showing that enough humans are hooked on these life-altering drugs for the trace chemicals they excrete to register in other species in our coastal waters.
"If we don't get tougher on drug dealers, we are wasting our time ... and that toughness includes the death penalty", Trump said.
But the potential presence of oxycodone in fish would be concerning, however, as they do metabolize opioids. Therefore, traces of opioids in the water suggest that a lot of people in the area are using the drugs, Jennifer Lanksbury, a biologist at the WDFW, told CBS Seattle affiliate KIRO 7.More news: Snapdragon 710 to improve midrange Android phone performance
She says mussels at a restaurant or store are healthy to eat because they come from clean locations. Scientists believe that Puget Sound salmon and other fish bay could demonstrate the same behavior. Thus, opioids, antidepressants, the common chemotherapy drug Melphalan - the mussels tested positive for all of them. "They receive the water that comes from our toilets and our houses and our hospitals, and so these drugs, we're taking them, and then we're excreting them in our urine so it gets to the wastewater treatment plant in that way", Lanksbury said. In fact, scientists at the University of Utah recently discovered that, if given the opportunity, zebrafish will willingly dose themselves with opioids.
It's just one of hundreds of pharmaceuticals that native mussels have absorbed from the waters of Puget Sound.
"You wouldn't want to collect (and eat) mussels from these urban bays", explained PSI's Andy James, who assisted with the study.
"We sent 18 samples (of mussels) to a laboratory up in Canada and asked for a suite of pharmaceutical and personal care products", Lanksbury said.
However, in this study, the amounts of opioids detected were thousands of times smaller than a human dose.