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Scientists Find Opioids, Antibiotics in Puget Sound Mussels


FILE - A plate of fire-roasted mussels.

Scientists who track pollution have discovered traces of antibiotics and the pain reliever oxycodone in some Puget Sound mussels.

KIRO-TV reported this week that the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife obtained clean mussels from Penn Cove on Whidbey Island and put them in different areas to test for water contamination.

Scientists worked with the Puget Sound Institute to analyze the data and discovered three out of 18 locations came back positive for trace amounts of oxycodone.

State Fish and Wildlife biologist Jennifer Lanksbury said the contamination most likely came through wastewater treatment plants.

She said the chemicals might be having an impact in fish and shellfish in the areas.

Mussels at a restaurant or store are safe to eat because they come from clean locations, Lanksbury said.

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