.|  Baltimore Ecosystem Study
Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects of Amphetamine on Stream Communities

Environmental Science & Technology
 
Amphetamines in Baltimore streams

 
Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects of Amphetamine on Stream Communities, Journal of Environmental Science & Technology
 

Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects of Amphetamine on Stream Communities August 25, 2016
 
A paper by Silvia Lee, Alexis M. Paspalof, Daniel D. Snow, Erinn K. Richmond, Emma J. Rosi-Marshall, and John J. Kelly has attracted national attention with its findings of hard drugs in detectable quantities in Baltimore streams.
 
Occurrence and Potential Biological Effects of Amphetamine on Stream Communities

Environmental Science & Technology
 
The paper can be accessed here: http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.6b03717
 
Here is a small sampling of the dozens of news media coverage the paper has attracted:
 
Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2016/08/26/how-amphetamine-use-may-be-affecting-our-waterways/?utm_term=.388a15012caa
 
WBAL Television Baltimore
http://m.wbaltv.com/news/gwynns-falls-in-baltimore-has-drug-problem/41390694
 
Scientific American Podcast
http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode/waste-amphetamines-alter-underwater-ecosystems/
 
Research Gate
https://www.researchgate.net/blog/post/baltimores-streams-are-on-speed
 

The abstract follows:
 
The presence of pharmaceuticals, including illicit drugs in aquatic systems, is a topic of environmental significance because of their global occurrence and potential effects on aquatic ecosystems and human health, but few studies have examined the ecological effects of illicit drugs. We conducted a survey of several drug residues, including the potentially illicit drug amphetamine, at 6 stream sites along an urban to rural gradient in Baltimore, Maryland, U.S.A. We detected numerous drugs, including amphetamine (3 to 630 ng L1), in all stream sites. We examined the fate and ecological effects of amphetamine on biofilm, seston, and aquatic insect communities in artificial streams exposed to an environmentally relevant concentration (1 g L1) of amphetamine. The amphetamine parent compound decreased in the artificial streams from less than 1 g L1 on day 1 to 0.11 g L1 on day 22. In artificial streams treated with amphetamine, there was up to 45% lower biofilm chlorophyll a per ash-free dry mass, 85% lower biofilm gross primary production, 24% greater seston ash-free dry mass, and 30% lower seston community respiration compared to control streams. Exposing streams to amphetamine also changed the composition of bacterial and diatom communities in biofilms at day 21 and increased cumulative dipteran emergence by 65% and 89% during the first and third weeks of the experiment, respectively. This study demonstrates that amphetamine and other biologically active drugs are present in urban streams and have the potential to affect both structure and function of stream communities.