Did you know that there are drugs in drinking water? It sounds almost unbelievable, but sadly, it’s true. An investigation by the Associated Press a few years ago found pharmaceutical drugs in the water supply of several metropolitan cities. Since then, it has raised many concerns.
How Did They Get There?
Whenever drugs pass through our bodies, they go into the sewer lines. Personal care products and drugs we apply externally are washed down the drain when we shower. Some people also flush expired or unused drugs down the toilet. That’s definitely not a good thing. The AP investigation also showed that the drugs stayed in the water even after going through the water treatment (or cleaning) process.
Effects of Drugs in Drinking Water
Yes, they are only low levels of drugs, but you are still getting dosed with anti-depressants, psychotropic, and other pharmaceuticals. Scientists are particularly concerned of the fish living in this water. It was found that fish are changing sexes from birth control and other medications. There is no scientific evidence on how drugs in drinking water will affect humans in the long run. Research is being conducted to further understand its health effects. Some studies on animals have found that behaviors are altered even with minimal consumption of drugs. Michael Thomas of Idaho State University in Pocatello found an association between low levels of antidepressants and other psychoactive drugs in water and autism. The concern then turns to the unborn child receiving these drugs from an unsuspecting mother-to-be.
How Can You Help?
Take drugs you don’t use back. There have been national events held by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency, trying to get people to take back their unused drugs. More of these types of events are expected in the near future. Although the FDA advises to flush harsh narcotic pain medications in fear of accidental overdose, the very least you can do is NOT flush unused medications down the drain.
If you throw away drugs into the trash, crush them up. You should also add cat litter or coffee grounds so an animal or child will not get it them. They will most likely end up being incinerated which is much better than dumping them down the drain.
One way you can protect you and your family from drugs in your water supply is investing in a whole house water filtration system.
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