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Antidepressants found in wild fish bodies

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Vodnany, South Bohemia, Dec 1 (CTK) – A Czech South Bohemia University’s research reveals that fish in streams containing also water from sewage disposal plants are contaminated by 11 psychoactive substances, such as antidepressants, that impact their behaviour, the faculty has said.

The research conducted by the University of South Bohemia’s Faculty of Fisheries and Protection of Waters identified residues of anti-depressants among the psychoactive substances, which may cause the fish to be less afraid and respond less swiftly to threats by predators.

The research intended to determine whether substances from wastewater treatment plants were affecting the fish in some way.

The researchers examined a population of trout in a brook in south Bohemia living close to a sewage disposal plant’s mouth and found 11 psychoactive substances, which the fish accumulated in their bodies throughout their lifetime.

“The concentration of these substances in the fish bodies can affect their metabolism and behaviour,” Katerina Grabicova, from the faculty’s laboratory of environmental chemistry and biochemistry, said.

“We believe that the changes to behaviour, together with other influences, may cause very significant changes in the populations of wild fish and in water ecosystems in general. The fish may be less timid and fail to hide from predators on time,” Grabicova said.

The highest concentration of these substances was detected in trout liver and kidneys.

The Environmental Science & Technology journal published a study earlier this year with similar results.

According to the study, the residues of antidepressant drugs found in the Niagara River could impact the life of local fish by affecting their instincts and reproductive capability.

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