Prozac killing E. coli in the Great Lakes

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When antidepressant pills get flushed down the drain, they do more than create happier sewers.

Scientists in Erie, Pennsylvania, have found that minute concentrations of fluoxetine, the active ingredient in Prozac, are killing off microbial populations in the Great Lakes.

The fluoxetine found in Lake Erie is at very low levels—about one nanogram per liter of water, Mauro said. “It doesn’t appear to be at a level that would be harmful to humans,” or invertebrates, for that matter, though Mauro suspects that fluoxetine combined with other chemicals could be having a cumulative effect on the lake’s ecosystem.

Read the whole story on National Geographic’s website.

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