Pharmaceutical Drugs In Water Supply

If mass poisoning by fluoridation in the water supply is not enough, here is some reference to mounting evidence that pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - are all being found in the water supply.

How do the drugs get into the water?
1. When people take medications, their bodies absorb some of if, but the rest of it passes and is flushed down the toilet.
2. Waste produced by industrial animals as these lots have levels of hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.
3. Investigations providing evidence that over 50% of the medical facilities flush their unused meds down the toilet.

- The wastewater is then treated mostly to be discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes where pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, which is the source of 40 percent of american water supply.

- The rest of the drinking water comes from the wastewater cleansing at drinking water treatment plants. While the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates that other kinds of contaminants, such as pesticides and lead, be filtered out before our drinking water flows through a municipal tap, there remain no guidelines at all for pharmaceuticals. There's also evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals even more toxic.

The presence of anti-depressants and mood stabilizers in drinking water supply may lead to mental, behavioral and/or emotional disorders undetectable to adults and children.  While some of the prescription drugs in drinking water do not usually create cancer on their own, but elevate the activity of other carcinogens in causing cancer.

A 2008 investigation by the Associated Press revealed that this was the case in at least 41 million American household water supply. In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Ky. Furthermore, the contamination is not just confined to the United States as more than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.

Pharmaceuticals in waterways are also damaging wildlife. Research show that male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually restricted to females. Pharmaceuticals also are affecting sentinel species at the foundation of the pyramid of life — such as earth worms and algae. Sudeep Chandra, an associate professor of natural resources and environmental science at the University of Nevada had told the AP. “There’s enough global information now to confirm [trace pharmaceuticals] are affecting organisms and wildlife."

Government officials and scientists are in no rush to look into this potential threat and the federal government doesn't require any testing and hasn't set safety limits for drugs in water.

Water filtration through reverse osmosis does removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants but is very expensive for large-scale use and leaves several gallons of polluted water for every one that is made drinkable.