People in developed nations take a lot of pharmaceuticals. Tiny amounts of these prescription drugs pass through our bodies, are flushed down the toilet and may eventually end up in the environment.
Why It Matters
- The widespread use of pharmaceuticals is relatively new.
- Wastewater treatment plants do not treat for most pharmaceuticals and so far clean water laws do not require them to.
- Some pharmaceuticals bioaccumulate in fish so concentrations would be very high in top predators.
- Estrogens in the water can lead to feminization of fish and frogs.
With the link below, learn more about pee pollution. Then answer the following questions.
- SciShow, Your Pee is Pollution (video): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYsYedHNJgY
- What is the effect of antidepressants in wastewater on male fathead minnows? What is the possible explanation for this?
- Why might zebra fish males lose interest in courtship behaviors when exposed to ibuprofen in wastewater?
- How might industrial livestock farms affect nearby drinking water?
- What are some differences between testing these chemicals on animals in a lab and the effects they may have on animals in the wild?
- What might regulation of these chemicals do?