There is no question that the opioid crisis is out of control. As one family, the Sacklers. earn billions upon billions of dollars from an OxyContin empire, the rest of us are dealing with the ramifications, including contaminated mussels and other seafood.
Scientists at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife are now tracing evidence that oxycodone is present off the waters of Seattle. So much so, that mussels are testing positive for the drug. As "filters feeders" mussels absorb the drugs and hold concentrated elements in the tissue.
By using caged mussels, scientists were able place uncontaminated groups into the Puget Sound and later take those groups in for testing. The scientists places 18 groups, and three came back contaminated with the drug.
It's not just oxycodone, other opioids, antidepressants and common chemotherapy drugs were also found. People ingest the drugs and then eliminate the drugs out of their systeme into the toilet. Although wastewater is filtered, it isn't enough to keep the drugs out of major waterways.
According to Jennifer Lanksbury, a biologist at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife:"
What we eat and what we excrete goes into the Puget Sound. It's telling me there's a lot of people taking oxycodone in the Puget Sound area.