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Platypus on antidepressants: High traces of drugs in Melbourne streams

Ross and Russel
Article image for Platypus on antidepressants: High traces of drugs in Melbourne streams

A platypus living in a Melbourne stream could ingest more than half a human dose of antidepressants every day, a study has revealed.

As reported in The Age, the study published in the journal ‘Nature Communications’, found traces of 69 different drugs in insects living in six streams around Melbourne.

Dr Erinn Richmond, from the Water Studies Centre at Monash University, told Ross and John when drugs pass through the human body, a portion will still end up in waste water.

“When we take a panadol or take a drug, a portion of that drug isn’t always used within us and it passes through to waste water treatment plants,” Dr Richmond said.

“A lot of our plants discharge treated waste water into stream.

“What we found was, we were looking at insects that live in these streams and platypus eat insects.”

“So the mosquitoes are full of antidepressants?” Ross asked.

“Yes.”

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Ross and Russel
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