Monday, March 10, 2008

Prescription drugs found in drinking water across U.S.

March 10, 2008 Associated Press:

A vast array of pharmaceuticals -- including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones -- have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.
How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

A 'growing concern'

"We recognize it is a growing concern and we're taking it very seriously," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Here are some of the key test results obtained by the AP:

• Officials in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city's watersheds.

• Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California.

• Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.

• A sex hormone was detected in the drinking water of San Francisco, California.

• The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals.

The situation is undoubtedly worse than suggested by the positive test results in the major population centers documented by the AP.

Rural, bottled water also unchecked

Rural consumers who draw water from their own wells aren't in the clear either, experts say.

Even users of bottled water and home filtration systems don't necessarily avoid exposure. Bottlers, some of which simply repackage tap water, do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to the industry's main trade group. The same goes for the makers of home filtration systems.

CANADA: Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world. Studies have detected pharmaceuticals in waters throughout Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe -- even in Swiss lakes and the North Sea.

Read Full Article Here

MAP: See the cities where drugs were found in drinking water

6 comments:

Steve said...

This is a serious problem and is another consequence of our prescription drug epidemic. Somehow we have become convinced that we no longer have to confront our problems but simply take a pill to not handle the problem but hide the symptoms.

As the director of Novus Medical Detox, I daily see the ravages caused by prescription drug addiction created by doctors prescribing it to their patients and then the patients either continuing to obtain it or purchasing these drugs on the internet or the street. Probably the worst of these drugs is OxyContin--legal heroin.

Pain is real. I have had to deal with it much of my life first from polio and then from two surgeries. However, there are alternatives to painkillers and they must be tried first. Let's not treat the symptoms but the cause.

Prescription drug addiction is an epidemic and we must do everything we can to stop it before it overwhelms us. Education is a must. Detox and rehab are the only solutions for people who are addicted and have decided that they must change their lives.

Steve Hayes
http://novusdetox.com

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Francy said...

Hi!
This is Nice Blog!

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Individual Attention & Extended Recovery Getting clean takes courage, guidance, and structure. Synergy Treatment offers intervention, detox, medication and treatment to conquer heroin addiction. Our world-class clinical staff offers daily individual attention to get to the heart of the problem, deal with the wreckage and build the framework for a new, sobriety-based life.

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agnes said...

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

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