Ohio River study finds drugs, chemicals that slip through waste treatment

Posted by Trish Riley, July 14, 2010

Dozens of chemicals and pharmaceuticals — antidepressants, veterinary hormones, even cocaine — have been detected in the Ohio River upstream and downstream from Louisville.

Researchers who conducted the study downplayed the potential effects for the 5 million people along the 981-mile river who use it for drinking water. The contaminants, they said, are in extremely low concentrations.

But outside scientists who reviewed the data noted that some of the pollutants have been tied to feminization of male fish, effects that should serve as a warning to people.

“When we see something this basic being altered in fish, we should be concerned about what it’s doing to our own health,” said biologist Peter DeFur, a research associate professor at Virginia Commonwealth University who specializes in chemical contaminants in the environment and was not involved in the study.

via Ohio River study finds drugs, chemicals that slip through waste treatment | courier-journal.com | The Courier-Journal.

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