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Pharmaceuticals are changing fish behavior shows new study

A new scientific study showing how fish behavior is being changed by pharmaceuticals entering water habitats after being incorrectly disposed highlights the urgent need for research into the impact of such drugs on human health.

“The findings are alarming as they add to growing evidence that exposure to endocrine-disrupting chemicals leaking into the natural environment can disrupt the functioning of hormones,” said Swedish environmental entrepreneur Bengt Rittri, founder and CEO of Bluewater.

Scientists at Monash University

The scientists behind the study at Monash University spotlighted how psychoactive pollutants are changing the behavior and mood of wildlife. The research, published in the Biology Letters journal, focused on numerous pharmaceuticals such as the antidepressant Prozac. An earlier Monash University study, published in 2018 in Nature Communications journal, found that multiple species were ingesting a diverse suite of pharmaceuticals in six separate creeks near Melbourne, including spiders living close to the water. One shock finding was that platypuses in some of the streams were consuming almost half a human daily dose of antidepressants every day.

A direct connection between the suspected impacts of plasticizers in human bloodstreams and rising infertility

In a 2019 White Paper entitled ‘The Global Plastic Calamity’, published together with Portugal’s Mirpuri Foundation, Bluewater reported on the impact of plastics on the human body and the disruption caused to human hormones by chemical contaminants in plastic. A key conclusion is that there appears to be a direct connection between the suspected impacts of plasticizers in human bloodstreams and rising infertility, early menses and menopause, obesity, and sexual dysfunction.

“The latest research findings from Monash University spotlight how wildlife and humans alike are at risk from ingesting the growing amount of chemical and other contaminants being found in the water we drink. We face the worst of outcomes if we don’t act to halt the toxic waste entering our water and food chains,” said Bengt Rittri.

Image caption: Platypuses in some Australian streams are consuming almost half a human daily dose of antidepressants every day, according to research. Photo: iStock

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