Welcome! We regret to inform you that the Injury Board National News Desk has been discontinued. Feel free to browse around and enjoy our previously published articles, or visit The Injury Blog Network for the latest in personal injury news.

Pharmaceuticals Found In Water Supply

Posted by Chrissie Cole
Tuesday, April 21, 2009 11:02 AM EST
Category: Major Medical
Tags: FDA and Prescription Drugs, Protecting Your Family, Environment, Chemical Pollutants, Pharmaceutical Industry, Water Supply

LEARN MORE

IMAGE SOURCE: Wikimedia Commons / drinking water / author: Ranvieg

U.S. manufacturers, including drug-makers, have legally released 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Active pharmaceutical ingredients are used in an array of manufacturing including drug-making. Nitroglycerin for instance, is a heart drug and also used in explosives. Lithium is used to treat bioplar disorder and to make ceramics. And copper shows up in everything from pipes to contraceptives.

The extent of drugs released by U.S. manufacturers is currently unknown because they are not officially tracked as drugs. But the government unintentionally keeps data on a few according to 20 years of federal records.

The AP identified twenty-two compounds that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) monitors as industrial chemicals and the FDA classifies as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

Although most cities and water providers still do not test for drugs in water, some experts say pharma-tainted water will be found wherever researchers test.

The largest contributors to water contamination are consumers who flush drugs down the toilet and excrete the drugs their bodies do not absorb. An estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging are thrown away by hospitals and long-term care facilities each year.

The data doesn’t show how much of the 271 million pounds is from manufacturers versus drug makers; also, the figure is a massive underscore because of the limited government tracking.

The lack of required testing amounts to a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about whether or not drug-makers are contributing to water pollution, say some experts.

Drug-makers and water regulators have dismissed the suggestion that their manufacturing significantly contributes to contaminants that are being found in water.

An AP investigation last year found trace amounts of several pharmaceuticals – including mood stabilizers, sex hormones and antibiotics – in U.S. drinking water supplies. #


No Comments

Comments for this article are closed.

About the National News Desk

Our mission is to seek the complete truth and provide a full and fair account of the events and issues that surround personal safety, accident prevention, and injury recovery.  We are committed to serving the public with honesty and integrity in these efforts.

Hurt in an accident? Contact an Injury Board member

Subscribe to Blog Updates

Enter your email address if you would like to receive email notifications when comments are made on this post.

Email address

Subscribe

RSS Feed

Add the National News Desk to your favorite RSS reader

Add to Google Reader Add to myYahoo Add to myMSN Add to Bloglines Add to Newsgator Add to Netvibes Add to Pageflakes