British prawns contain anti-depressant drugs
London: Prawns and shrimps in Britain are found to contain high levels of anti-depressant drugs due to the presence of drug waste in the coastal waters around the country.Drugs like Prozac are ending up in the sea around British towns through waste water, affecting the local marine life, the Sun reported Wednesday.
Scientists at Portsmouth University exposed shrimps to the same levels of fluoxetine - the agent present in Prozac - as they found in waste water, and were alarmed by the results.
The sea creatures were five times more likely to swim up to light when exposed to drugs, putting them at risk of being eaten by fish or birds.
"Crustaceans are crucial to the food chain. If behaviour is being changed, this could seriously upset the balance of the ecosystem," Alex Ford of the research team said.
Anti-depressant drug use has soared in recent years in Britain, with doctors prescribing over 26 million doses annually.