THURSDAY, March 26 -- Fish from five U.S. rivers were found to be tainted with traces of medications and common chemicals, according to a new study from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Baylor University.
The common antihistamine diphenhydramine (Benadryl), an anticonvulsant and two types of antidepressants were among the seven types of pharmaceuticals found in the tissue and livers of fish from waterways in or near Chicago, Dallas, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Orlando, Fla. Each river is considered "effluent-dominated," because they receive large amounts of wastewater discharge from nearby sewage treatment plants
Previous research has concluded that behavior vital for fish survival, such as mating and fighting, can be affected if too much antidepressant residue collects in their systems.
The medications and chemicals found from among the 36 tested for were, aside from diphenhydramine:
the cholesterol drug gemfibrozil (Lopid), which researchers say had never before been found in wild fish;
diltiazem (Cardizem), a medication that helps control high blood pressure;
carbamazepine (Tegretol), a drug used for epilepsy and bipolar disorder;
norfluoxetine, an active ingredient in the antidepressant fluoxetine (Prozac);
the antidepressant sertraline (Zoloft);
galaxolide and tonalide, common odor-enhancing ingredients in soap and other hygiene products.
It had been a dark decade for Charlie The Tuna. Sometime in the late 90's he realized he would never be caught, killed, sliced up, put in oil, and distributed throughout the land by the Starkist Tuna Company. Doing so had been his life's dream, and for 30 years he had sincerely believed that all he needed to make it happen was the right mental attitude and some hard work. Sometime in the late 90's though, it sunk in, and Charlie sunk with it. He drank hard most every night, trying to forget. He hadn't made sweet love to Mrs. Tuna since sometime in 2001, but she stood lovingly by her mate, even as the salmon encroached on his territory and he was too hung over to fight them off. Today though, something was different. Today, the Prozac reached Charlie's brain.
He sprung out of bed, swam outside, and took a chunk out of the tail of the punk-ass eel who was tagging the side of his house. Mrs. Tuna saw the spark in Charlie, and they fucked like wild beasts. Charlie was alive.
His chest pain was gone.
His eyes were no longer red and watery.
His odor was enhanced.
"Martha" he proclaimed to his wife. "I'm taking one last shot. I'm the best goddamn tuna in this goddamn ocean, and I've got to make the people at Starkist understand."
Tears welled up in Martha's eyes, but she loved Charlie, and she wanted above all for him to be happy. She wrapped her arms around him, and whispered softly in his ear, "You show them tiger"
Charlie looked up at the sunlight that bathed the shallow water. He knew he had to think outside the box to make his dream come true. He knew the decision makers at Starkist were in the land of the light.
He thrust himself upward. He thrust himself into the world of the unknown, the world of risk, the world of dreams. The world that contained Starkist's corporate headquarters.
He landed on the beach. He immediately suffocated, as he had not the biological equipment to extract oxygen from the atmosphere. His carcass was picked over by a seagull.
I'm sorry, Charlie.