Animals affected by pharmaceuticals in water

March 11, 2008 5:31:42 AM PDT

Researchers are also studying the impact on animals that live in or drink from streams and lakes.

Pharmaceuticals in the water are being blamed for severe reproductive problems in many types of fish. Some female fish have developed male genital organs.

Fish collected in waterways in and around Chicago, Phoenix, Orlando, Dallas and Philadelphia have tested positive for an array of pharmaceuticals, including analgesics, antibiotics and antidepressants.

Bull sharks in a Florida river are being tested for the presence of a variety of medications. Of the first 10 sharks that were sampled, 9 tested positive for the active ingredient in an antidepressant.

A five-month investigation by The Associated Press found that trace amounts of many of the drugs Americans take to stay healthy are seeping into drinking water supplies, amid increasing evidence that it could harm humans.