Environment

PHARMAWATER- Philadelphia Drugs

Tests of Philadelphia’s drinking water reveal 56 drugs

By JEFF DONN
AP National Writer

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ A total of 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts have been detected in this city’s drinking water, largely in tests conducted last year, according to the Philadelphia Water Department.

The list of drugs is the longest among 62 major water providers surveyed by the Associated Press.  However, this city’s water officials say they probably found more drugs simply because they did more testing.  They say their water is safe to drink.

Researchers found trace concentrations of drugs including antibiotics, pain relievers, heart and psychiatric drugs, and veterinary medicines.  Here’s the list of drugs and some of their uses:

  • ANTIBIOTICS
    _Amoxicillin _ for pneumonia, stomach ulcers
    _Azithromycin _ for pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases
    _Bacitracin _ prevents infection in cuts and burns
    _Chloramphenicol _ for serious infections when other antibiotics can’t be used
    _Ciprofloxacin _ for anthrax, other infections
    _Doxycycline _ for pneumonia, Lyme disease, acne
    _Erythromycin _ for pneumonia, whooping cough, Legionnaires’ disease
    _Lincomycin _ for strep, staph, other serious infections
    _Oxytetracycline _ for respiratory, urinary infections
    _Penicillin G _ for anthrax, other infections
    _Penicillin V _ for pneumonia, scarlet fever, infections of ear, skin, throat
    _Roxithromycin _ for respiratory, skin infections
    _Sulfadiazine _ for urinary infections, burns
    _Sulfamethizole _ for urinary infections
    _Sulfamethoxazole _ for traveler’s diarrhea, pneumonia, urinary and ear infections
    _Tetracycline _ for pneumonia, acne, stomach ulcers, Lyme disease
    _Trimethoprim _ for urinary and ear infections, traveler’s diarrhea, pneumonia
  • PAIN RELIEVERS
    _Acetaminophen _ soothes arthritis, aches, colds; reduces fever
    _Antipyrine _ for ear infections
    _Aspirin _ for minor aches, pain; lowers risk of heart attack and stroke
    _Diclofenac _ for arthritis, menstrual cramps, other pain
    _Ibuprofen _ for arthritis, aches, menstrual cramps; reduces fever
    _Naproxen _ for arthritis, bursitis, tendinitis, aches; reduces fever
    _Prednisone _ for arthritis, allergic reactions, multiple sclerosis, some cancers
  • HEART DRUGS
    _Atenolol _ for high blood pressure
    _Bezafibrate _ for cholesterol problems
    _Clofibric acid _ byproduct of various cholesterol medications
    _Diltiazem _ for high blood pressure, chest pain
    _Gemfibrozil _ regulates cholesterol
    _Simvastatin _ slows production of cholesterol
  • MIND DRUGS
    _Carbamazepine _ for seizures, mood regulating
    _Diazepam _ for anxiety, seizures; eases alcohol withdrawal
    _Fluoxetine _ for depression; relieves premenstrual mood swings
    _Meprobamate _ for anxiety
    _Phenytoin _ controls epileptic seizures
    _Risperidone _ for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe behavior problems
  • OTHER HUMAN DRUGS
    _Caffeine _ found in coffee; also used in pain relievers
    _Cotinine _ byproduct of nicotine; drug in tobacco, also used in products to help smokers quit
    _Iopromide _ given as contrast agent for medical imaging
    _Nicotine _ found in tobacco, also in medicinal products to help smokers quit
    _Paraxanthine _ a byproduct of caffeine
    _Theophylline _ for asthma, bronchitis and emphysema
  • VETERINARY
    _Carbadox _ for control of dysentery, bacterial enteritis in pigs; promotes growth
    _Chlortetracycline _ for eye, joint, other animal ailments
    _Enrofloxacin _ for infections in farm animals and pets; treats wounds
    _Monensin _ for weight gain, prevention of severe diarrhea in farm animals
    _Narasin _ for severe diarrhea in farm animals
    _Oleandomycin _ for respiratory disease; promotes growth in farm animals
    _Salinomycin _ promotes growth in livestock
    _Sulfachloropyridazine _ for enteritis in farm animals
    _Sulfadimethoxine _ for severe diarrhea, fowl cholera, other conditions in farm animals
    _Sulfamerazine _ for a range of infections in cats, fowl
    _Sulfamethazine _ for bacterial diseases in farm animals; promotes growth
    _Sulfathiazole _ for diseases in aquarium fish
    _Tylosin _ promotes growth, treats infections in farm animals, including bees
    _Virginiamycin M1 _ prevents infection, promotes growth in farm animals

* This investigation was from 2008, it is most likely much worse now with the increase in the number of people dependent on pharmaceutical drugs.  This is a serious growing problem something everyone needs to be aware of if they care about their health.

AP Investigation: Drugs in Drinking Water

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