Scientists mussels testing positive for oxycodone

Scientists mussels testing positive for oxycodone

When scientists from the Puget Sound Institute of the University of Washington-Tacoma tested mussels from three sites near the harbors of greater Seattle, they found traces of oxycodone, a highly-addictive narcotic and one of the most-frequently abused opioids in the US.

"What we eat and what we excrete goes into the Puget Sound", Jennifer Lanksbury, a biologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, told KIRO-TV.

Mussels containing oxycodone was thousands of times lower than the therapeutic dose in treating humans. However, the presence of this drug in the mollusk speaks to the high number of people in the urban areas surrounding the Puget Sound who take this medication, said Lanksbury.

It's possible, however, that the opioids could affect fish, which are known to respond to the drugs, James added. This marks the first time the opioid has ever been found in marine life in Washington. "Some people, unfortunately, flush their drugs down the toilet, and that's a huge source of these pharmaceuticals".

After all, a previous study has found that zebrafish are able to learn dosing themselves with opioids and other fish might have the tendency to do the same. In Puget Sound, off the western coast of Washington state, scientists have discovered marine life contaminated with oxycodone.

Other chemicals found in Puget Sound waters ranged from pharmaceuticals to illegal substances like cocaine, but scientists have never found opioids in local shellfish until now.

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"Opioid" is pretty high on the list of now-very-common words that diminish the potency of language and make everyone sound like a machine.

This time around, the researchers detected traces of the opioid oxycodone in mussels from three of the 18 locations tested, according to CBS News.

Scientists have found traces of oxycodone in shellfish near Bremerton and in Seattle's Elliott Bay.

"Hopefully our data shows what's out there and can get the process started for cleaning up our waters". The drug was found at "levels where we might want to look at biological impacts", said James.

Almost two decades ago, the U.S. Geological Survey conducted a study and found "measurable amounts" of medications in a whopping 80 percent of water samples that were collected from 139 steams across 30 states. They deposit mussels in cages into 18 different locations, and then analyze the mussels afterwards.

"All of our species indicate where contamination is coming into the Puget Sound", she explained.

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