Environment

CBS: Prescription Drugs in Water Supply

When this alarming CBS Report emerged, 2008 prescription drug expenditures in the United States was 242 billion U.S. dollars
Now let’s fast forward to 2017 where the prescription drug expenditures in the United States was over 360 billion U.S. dollars

 

The chemical contaminants that infest our nation’s water supplies are abundant, including fluoride (the only drug intentionally added to your drinking water), as well as chlorine, lead, mercury, arsenic and many kinds of pharmaceuticals.  Many Americans are taking more drugs than ever, from over-the-counter medications for headaches to prescription medications for depression, acid reflux, high blood pressure and more.  It’s great that we keep coming up with new cutting-edge drugs, but we must look at what the potential impacts are.  We can’t dismiss that potentially hundreds or thousands of chemical compounds interacting with each other and how that affects overall aquatic life and human health.

Drug byproducts are released from our bodies when we urinate or when old drugs are flushed down the toilet. Little research has been conducted on the specific effects of trace drugs in drinking water, but what evidence is there gives cause for alarm. Contamination of environmental water sources from pharmaceuticals are affecting fish, frogs and lobsters— small amounts of estrogen cause male fish to develop eggs.

Clarke Brubaker an Environmental Toxicologists stated, “Besides pharmaceuticals, there are varieties of dioxins, insecticides, herbicides, pesticides, chemical additives and heavy metals, which when combined, create a toxic cocktail affecting every system in the body, even at extremely low concentrations.”

Nobody seems to know which compounds need to be removed or how to remove them from the water safely, and no one seems to know which government agency should step forward and take accountability for this growing issue.

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