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Opioids Found in Seafood

mussels contained opioids

Story at-a-glance -

  • When mussels in the Puget Sound were most recently tested, those at three out of 18 locations tested positive for the opioid oxycodone
  • All of the areas where the mussels contained opioids were highly urbanized, suggesting the drugs may be excreted in toilet water, ending up in wastewater and then finding their way out into the ocean
  • In the U.S., 63,600 people died from a drug overdose in 2016, 66 percent of which involved an opioid
  • Overdose deaths have been on the rise since the 1990s, with those involving prescription opioids increasing sharply since 1999

By Dr. Mercola

Opioids, which kill an average of 115 Americans daily, have found their way into waterways where they're now coursing through filter feeders, including mussels, and possibly other sea life as well. Mussels serve as useful pollution barometers because they absorb environmental pollutants as a matter of course. Researchers with the Puget Sound Mussel Monitoring Program actually move uncontaminated mussels to various locations in Washington's Puget Sound every two years in order to study pollution levels.

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