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Study of 50 Minnesota lakes finds DEET, cocaine


A new study of Minnesota lakes has fished out more evidence that the state's famed waters contain a wide variety of chemicals, MPR reports.

The largest study ever of its kind in Minnesota shows chemicals from household products, prescription drugs and illegal drugs are common in Minnesota lakes, MPR reports. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency scientists sampled water in 50 randomly chosen lakes across the state last year, testing for 125 chemicals.

See the entire study here.

The chemicals found in the lake waters were found in very tiny amounts, but scientists say that, put together, the chemicals can affect organisms in the environment.

A few examples: DEET was discovered in 76 percent of lakes in the state. Minnesotans frequently grab for insect repellent that contains the chemical that keeps mosquitoes at bay.

The study also found bisphenol A, a chemical used in plastics, in more than 40 percent of the lakes sampled. The steroid hormone Androstenedione was found in 30 percent of sampled lakes.

And cocaine was detected in one third of the lakes. It's not uncommon to detect cocaine in water leaving sewage treatment plants, MPR reports. Americans consume about 156 tons of cocaine a year, according to government estimates, about the same volume as one commonly used pharmaceutical, MPR reports.

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