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Anti-Anxiety Drugs Impact Fish Behavior

February 22, 2013 By: Erin Block

As mounting evidence of the problem of pharmaceuticals in water sources, a study published in a recent issue of the journal Science found that fish living in waters testing positive for traces of anti-anxiety drugs had altered behavior—including anti-social and aggressive tendencies. “We know that in a predator-prey relation, increased boldness and activity combined with decreased sociality … means you’re going to be somebody’s lunch quite soon,” says Gregory Moller, toxicologist at the University of Idaho and Washington State University. “It removes the natural balance.”