Our May 9th report on the discovery of opioids in Puget Sound mussels continues to be picked up by many national and international news organizations. The research was conducted by PSI’s Andy James in collaboration with scientists at the Puget Sound Mussel Monitoring Program at the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife.
Traces of oxycodone were found in transplanted mussels used for monitoring water quality in Puget Sound. The mussels were located in urban bays already considered to be polluted and were not collected near commercial shellfish operations. Scientists say the contaminants in this case likely came from discharge from wastewater treatment plants. Even filtered wastewater can potentially include traces of thousands of chemicals known as contaminants of emerging concern (CECs).
Among the dozens of media outlets covering the story were KIRO News, the BBC, NPR, NBC, CBS, CNN, The Guardian, The Daily Mail, Newsweek, USA Today and Fortune Magazine.