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'These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,' Dr Aga says.'It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned.'These drugs could affect fish behavior.
For example, in the brains of smallmouth bass, largemouth bass, rock bass, white bass and walleye, sertraline was detected at levels that were about 20 or more times higher than levels in the river.
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But antidepressants, which are found in the urine of people who use the drugs, are largely ignored, along with other worrisome chemicals that have become common.
'As a result, wildlife is exposed to all of these chemicals,' says Dr Diana Aga, the lead author of the study and a Professor of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.'Fish are receiving this cocktail of drugs 24 hours a day, and we are now finding these drugs in their brains.' The discovery of antidepressants in aquatic life in the river raises serious environmental concerns, says lead author of the study Dr Diana Aga, a Professor of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.
Wastewater treatment facilities have not kept pace with the growth of antidepressant use.