Human antidepressants are building up in the brains of bass, walleye and several other fish common to the Great Lakes region, scientists say.
In a new study, researchers detected high concentrations of these drugs and their metabolized remnants in the brain tissue of 10 fish species found in the Niagara River.
This vital conduit connects two of the Great Lakes, Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, via Niagara Falls. The discovery of antidepressants in aquatic life in the river raises serious environmental concerns, says lead scientist Diana Aga, PhD, the Henry M. Woodburn Professor of Chemistry in the University at Buffalo College of Arts and Sciences.
“These active ingredients from antidepressants, which are coming out from wastewater treatment plants, are accumulating in fish brains,” Aga says. “It is a threat to biodiversity, and we should be very concerned.