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Drugs In The Water

Hat tip to meep:
Troubled Water -- Known known: Medicine in the Water. Known unknown: Bad for You?

Though surveys have detected over 80 pharmacological compounds in US waterways--including painkillers, blood-pressure and heart medications, birth control pills, anti-fungal agents, Prozac, Viagra, anti-seizure medications, steroids, nicotine byproducts and antibiotics—whether this actually means anything is a mystery. "Little is definitively known," says the EPA, "regarding any real hazard posed by trace concentrations."

Read more....
And like meep says, there's pretty much nothing that can be done about it since it's the usual "going through the human body" process that brings it into the water.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 6th, 2006 03:23 pm (UTC)
Miniature in-home waste pre-treatment package plants?
Apr. 6th, 2006 06:10 pm (UTC)
This reminds me of the two lovely tours I took through major wastewater treatment plants for my minor in college. After seeing needles and condoms and all sorts of other crap (literally) being strained from our drinking water, I swore I'd only be drinking the bottled stuff from then on. And that was only the stuff you could see.

Thanks for the link to the article.
Apr. 6th, 2006 07:14 pm (UTC)
I'm in the municipal water/wastewater treatment business. In the US, in most areas, tap water is pretty safe. Treatment methods vary in effectiveness and cost, but everyone has to meet the federal standards.

For one thing, the usual practice is not to treat sewage and turn it right back around into the water pipes. Raw water for drinking purposes is pulled out of the ground or from upstream surface water sources, and treated further; after human consumption it is then treated again to remove as much waste as possible, then discharged downstream or into the ground again. In between, it gets "treated" by the earth and the sun.

What bottled water and aftermarket filters usually accomplish is to improve taste, which is independent of bacteriological or chemical contamination (and therefore safety). Ultrapure water actually has no taste, and thus is not much fun to drink. In fact, if it's also deionized, it's corrosive and dangerous to drink.
Apr. 7th, 2006 02:35 am (UTC)
But, look at all of the awesome vitamin enrichment that comes with it!

Seriously enough, remember that all drugs in common use are found in nature. They are refined and purified, but otherwise unchanged. Thus, this is more a case of mixing things across ecosystems. This is something that people and animals do all the time.

How is this different than eating imported foods, then throwing some of it out, or down the garbage disposal?
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )

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