WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Scientists Underscore Drugs' Impact On Waterways

Play associated audio
Greg McMullen: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gergtreble/4278598285/

The Drug Enforcement Administration will host its third National Prescription Drug Take Back Day on Saturday. And scientists are urging residents to pitch in to protect area waterways. 

"The synthetic estrogen added to birth control pills -- we know that can get out into the environment through waste water treatment effluent," says Vicki Blazer, a biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey. "Exposure to that has been associated with intersex or the production of immature eggs within the testes of the fish."

She says antidepressants are also seeping into waterways, and into the bodies of fish who live there: "The scary thing is that when we look for some of those things not only are we finding them in the water, and five to seven different antidepressants in the water, but in New York and Iowa we’ve actually taken out fish brains and had them analyzed for antidepressants and we find them in the brains of the fish," she says. 

So organizers are urging people to take part in National Prescription Drug Take Back Day. Collection sites throughout the region will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. 

NPR

So This Is How They Do It! Zebras Getting Stripes

The pink on a flamingo? Stripes on a zebra? Spots on a giraffe? All explained. Simply. Elegantly. Oddly.
NPR

Can Wal-Mart Really Make Organic Food Cheap For Everyone?

The giant retailer says it's adding a new line of organic food that's at least 25 percent cheaper. But a large-scale production and supply of organic food likely can't be achieved overnight.
NPR

Obama Adds Malaysia To His Asia Itinerary

Obama travels to Malaysia next week, where the government is under fire for the handling of a missing airliner. NPR's Wade Goodwyn talks to Joshua Kurlantzick of the Council on Foreign Relations.
NPR

Watch For The Blind Lets You Feel Time Passing

A new watch allows the blind to feel time on their wrists. Designer Hyungsoo Kim tells NPR's Wade Goodwyn his watch allows users to tell time accurately without revealing their disabilities.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.