----- Original Message -----
From: "geoff" <gkimber2_at_alltel.net>
Sent: Monday, October 20, 2003 5:39 PM
Subject: Re: NANFA-- Laid Back Bluegills
> antibiotics bother me more than other drugs due to the public health
> Continuous low level exposure to antibiotics can allow bacteria to
> develop resistance.
> There is no way that people in Texas could be excreting enough prozac to
> have a physiologic effect on fish. Perhaps a cumulative toxic effect,
> or other low-level effect, but I doubt that it is possible to get the
> concentration high enough to have an antidepressant effect.
> Geoff Kimber
> On Sun, 2003-10-19 at 10:27, Denkhaus, Robert wrote:
> > This was printed in the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (AKA "Startle-Gram")
> > http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/7036372.htm
> > Rob Denkhaus
> > Fort Worth Nature Center & Refuge
> > Drug found in area fish stirs concern
> > By Scott Streater
> > Star-Telegram Staff Writer
> > Researchers at Baylor University have found traces of an antidepressant
> > livers, muscles and brains of bluegills in a Denton County creek,
> > concerns about the welfare of the fish and the people who eat them.
> > The chemical, fluoxetine hydrochloride, is the active ingredient in
> > likely came from a city of Denton wastewater treatment plant, which
> > into Pecan Creek and flows into Lewisville Lake. Traces of the drug that
> > not absorbed into the body can flow down the toilet and through
> > treatment plants, which are not designed to filter out pharmaceuticals.
> > Fluoxetine and other antidepressants affect fish in roughly the same
> > affect people, said Bryan Brooks, a Baylor toxicologist who led the
> > It relaxes them.
> > "Maybe it makes you a happy fish and you're kind of hanging out," Brooks
> > "But how does that influence your ability to capture prey? Do you
> > become candy for largemouth bass because you're accumulating large
> > Prozac in your system? These are areas where more research is needed."
> > Brooks will present the results of his study next month in Austin at the
> > annual meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry.
> > It's believed to be the first study to determine that antidepressants in
> > water can accumulate in biological tissue, raising the possibility of
> > long-term health and behavioral problems in fish, said Marsha Black, an
> > aquatic toxicologist at the University of Georgia at Athens.
> > "That's really a significant finding," said Black, who's using a federal
> > to study the health effects of fluoxetine and other antidepressants in
> > "This opens up the door and says these things are important."
> > Eli Lilly and Co., which manufactures Prozac, has a material safety data
> > for fluoxetine hydrochloride on the company Web site. Under
> > information, the data sheet states that the chemical is "moderately
> > fish and highly toxic to invertebrates and green algae" and can be
> > persistent in the environment because of its low rate of biodegradation.
> > data sheet also states that the chemical has low potential to accumulate
> > aquatic organisms.
> > Brooks' latest research comes on the heels of recent studies he helped
> > while a graduate student at the University of North Texas. That research
> > indicated that some male fish in Denton County are developing female
> > characteristics because estrogen from prescription drugs is winding up
> > water. The estrogen -- from birth control pills, hormone replacement
> > and other sources -- could reduce the fish population by rendering some
> > unable to breed.
> > The issue has garnered national attention in the last few years. In a
> > Geological Survey study last year, 80 percent of the 139 streams sampled
> > states, including Texas, contained small amounts of pharmaceutical
> > hormones, steroids and personal-care products like perfumes.
> > "It's very common," said Herbert Buxton, coordinator of the Geological
> > Survey's Toxic Substances Hydrology Program. "What this tells us is that
> > wastewater pathways are worthy of a lot more study."
> > Brooks' study raises a number of questions. Among them:
> > * Can these pharmaceuticals pollute drinking water supplies?
> > * What are the health effects of eating fish contaminated with
> > pharmaceuticals?
> > * If fluoxetine is in the bluegills in Pecan Creek, might it also be in
> > tissues of other species in other waterways?
> > Brooks said he has expanded the research to include catfish and black
> > crappie.
> > He said Pecan Creek was chosen as the site of his study because it
> > much as 13 million gallons a day of treated wastewater from Denton's
> > Creek Water Reclamation Plant.
> > During the dry summer months, the wastewater from the plant comprises
> > the creek's water flow, said Kenneth Banks, Denton's water resources
> > manager.
> > Brooks said the pharmaceuticals in the creek are coming from the
> > plant.
> > "I think it's got to be," he said.
> > Pecan Creek drains into Lewisville Lake, which supplies drinking water
> > cities of Dallas, Denton and Lewisville. But researchers say it is
> > unlikely that the antidepressant could get into the drinking water
> > part because the wastewater plant is several miles away from the lake.
> > "After that distance, it's virtually impossible that it would show up in
> > potable water supplies," Banks said.
> > Federal and state environmental regulators do not regulate
> > water supplies because they have not been proven to harm fish and other
> > aquatic life.
> > But the findings of Brooks and other scientists could change that
> > Environmental Protection Agency is evaluating the need for formal
> > recommendations for disposing of old drugs to keep them out of the water
> > supply. The Food and Drug Administration is studying similar action.
> > If it can be confirmed that pharmaceuticals are moving untreated through
> > wastewater plants, sewer plant operators could be required to begin
> > controlling these discharges. That could necessitate the addition of new
> > technology costing millions of dollars and could have a tremendous
> > North Texas.
> > The Trinity River basin, which runs from north of Fort Worth-Dallas to
> > the Houston metropolitan area, is the most developed watershed in the
> > with numerous large wastewater treatment plants.
> > The Trinity River Association, a public utility created by the
> > 1955, operates four large wastewater treatment plants in North Texas
> > discharge into the watershed.
> > "It's very early, but the implications are potentially serious," said
> > Browning, senior manager of the Trinity River Association's planning and
> > environmental management division.
> > "If they come out with a clear connection, then everybody will be
> > how to get it out of the water. Then the regulations would flow very
> > quickly."
> > ---
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