This is alarming, dangerous, and scary. Scientists have discovered many of us are drinking water that's a seething concoction of pharmaceutical drugs for conditions we probably don't have like heart problems, asthma, epilepsy and high cholesterol.
How do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water like this! I mean, it's almost unbelievable.
Normally I don't pay to much attention to sensational health warnings. But this one has got me concerned.
Pharmaceutical drugs are routinely found by accredited researchers in the drinking water catchments areas of our big metropolitan centers, and yet in half of those centers our drinking water guardians don't even test for prescription drugs before they pipe water to your tap. Let alone try to stop them.
So, if you live in New York and Miami, for example, your municipal water officials are not actively looking for drugs even though its common to hear a probe finds drugs in drinking water.
But it gets even worse, because when you ask, how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water, you quickly realize that it is inevitable. Even without research and scientific probes into drinking water supplies and city administrations, we could almost predict that prescription drugs will find their way into drinking water.
So, how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water? It's simple.
Someone takes prescription medication for a heart condition or an anti-depressant. Only part of that is absorbed into their blood stream and carried to the cells that need the chemicals to be healthy. The rest is passed into their bowel and eliminated next time they use the toilet.
City authorities take that sewage, treat it and pour it into a local lake or river. Where some of it is taken again, treated one more time, and piped to your tap. Few of the pharmaceuticals are removed by the city treatment. End result? You drink prescription drugs every time you pour a glass of so-called clean water.
Same thing happens with the medication vets routinely give to pets and farm animals. Animal waste goes into the ground and rivers, settles in the aquifers, and eventually some of that will be piped to your tap.
Officials are quick to point out the federal government does not require that they test for them. That there is no industrial-level sewage treatment system yet developed that can remove pharmaceuticals, so the city can't be blamed for not getting rid of the minute traces of pharmaceutical drugs. And the amount of these drugs in water is tiny, usually at concentrations ranging from parts per trillion to parts per billion.
Only tiny amounts? Well, those tiny amounts can turn a male fish into females. Is that not a problem?
A Canadian scientist in Ontario, Canada, Dr Chris Metcalfe is finding that male fish taken from the Great Lakes and in his laboratory exposed to only parts per trillion of estrogen compounds, commonly found in treated city water, develop feminine characteristics. These minute exposures also interrupt the development of the circulation system in these fish, their eyes and their flotation bladder.
I mean, is that scary or not?
So, how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water? Partly because officials do not block them.
Well, if local water officials are not removing pharmaceuticals we need to do something. Is there anything we can do? Yes, there is. Fortunately you can fit into your own home effective purification systems that will scrub out pharmaceutical drugs. Look at them and do some research.
There are fakes and competing systems out there, so you must read the performance disclosure material that reputable purification systems come with. Find out what pharmaceutical drugs the systems can and cannot remove. That is just an afternoon's research, so do it, and install a system that will remove the pharmaceutical drugs in your drinking water.