By Kate Golden
Minnesota researchers found 56 chemicals — including cocaine — in the state’s waters, according to two studies released today that raise questions about potential impacts on wildlife and human health.
Environmental experts said the discoveries in lakes, rivers and streams increase the pressure on Wisconsin to figure out what’s in its water. A key Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources official said that the state’s waters were likely also contaminated, but that the state had no money for such monitoring.
The chemicals were detected at trace amounts in 47 of 50 Minnesota lakes, including many in relatively pristine parts of the state.
Some of the most troubling chemicals are thought to be endocrine disruptors, which can block or act like hormones in people and wildlife. They are used in pharmaceuticals, personal care products and industrial processes, but are largely unregulated.