The Puget Sound Institute notes that the amounts of opioids detected were thousands of times smaller than a typical human dose. According to CBS, none of the positive findings occurred near commercial shellfish beds. The chemotherapy drug Melphalan was also found in the shellfish, in "levels where we might want to look at biological impacts", Puget Sound Institute researcher Andy James said in a blog post.
"Things like, they can affect the growth of organisms, their hormone systems, their ability to reproduce", she explained.
But the potential presence of oxycodone in fish would be concerning, however, as they do metabolize opioids.
"Since mussels are 'filter feeders, ' they absorb contaminants from their environment into their tissues in a concentrated way".
It's just one of hundreds of pharmaceuticals that native mussels have absorbed from the waters of Puget Sound.
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"We found oxycodone in only three of the 18 sets of mussels we analyzed". The contaminants in this case are thought to be passed into Puget Sound through discharge from wastewater treatment plants.
While monitoring the pollution levels of Seattle's Puget Sound, researchers discovered oxycodone in the tissues of native bay mussels, according to a report from the Puget Sound Institute earlier in May.
"In juvenile Chinook salmon, we found doses of antidepressants and heart medications that are at levels that we would maybe start to see negative effects on the survival of those juvenile Chinook salmon", she said.
"If we don't get tougher on drug dealers, we are wasting our time ... and that toughness includes the death penalty", Trump said. "These are the mussels we use in our analyses".
Specifically, the locations that tested positive were Bremerton's shipyard and Elliot Bay.
According to the WDFW, people who eat mussels from a restaurant or grocery store should not be anxious about getting high on opioids. All of the other areas tested did not have oxycodone.
Lanksbury also specifies that the contamination is limited to the urban areas of the Puget Sound, while most of the other shorelines of the sound are shown to be clean.