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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Drugs in Our Water?

I do not regularly read the newspaper, but today someone left a copy sitting in front of me. A headline caught my eye, so I had to read the story. The headline read…’Drugs in water danger viewed as minimal’…what? Drugs in our water?

The article went on to say that the effect of prescription drugs in our drinking water is not known, but it is not likely a threat. Well, if the effects are not known, how and who says it is not threat? It continued with stating for the majority of people it is probably not a threat, but elderly and pregnant women could be more sensitive. The Environmental and Occupational Health Science Institute at Rutgers University needs to determine whether or not there are areas where the concentrations of prescription drugs in the water are higher than just trace amounts.

A five month study was conducted and it showed that trace amounts of prescription drugs were in the drinking water. Approximately 41 million Americans are affected. The study’s report was released on March 10 and said the drugs detected were antibiotics, pain medications and heart treatments among others.

In northern New Jersey, trace amounts of metabolized angina medicine and the mood stabilizer carbamazepine were detected in the drinking water. In Philadelphia, 56 pharmaceuticals and byproducts were found in the city’s drinking water.

Prescription drugs are said to get into the water by people dumping unused drugs down the drain and medicine not completely metabolized and leaving through the human body waste. Also if a water supply uses surface runoff as a source can also contain trace prescription drugs. Chemical treatments are not able to remove all the prescription drug traces.

So…is our water even remotely safe to drink? What were your thoughts after reading this post?

Makes me feel uncomfortable knowing our water might not be as safe as I thought

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