AntiDepressants are contaminating our water: Dr. Sam Benjamin

How Drugs Pollute Our Drinking Water

Tainted Water: MSNBC

Prescription Drugs Found In Public Drinking Water


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"There was a time Tennesseans were instructed to flush unused drugs down the toilet, but new studies, including one recently in the Volunteer State, found an alarming number of chemicals in drinking water."

"Tennessee residents are consuming several surprising compounds such as caffeine, hand sanitizers, Ibuprofen, Prozac and insect repellant. These are compounds that aren't typically monitored in drinking water."

"...researchers have identified traces of pharmaceutical drugs in the drinking water supplies of some 40 million Americans."

"According to Citizens Campaign for the Environment (CCE), the effects of constant, low-level exposure of pharmaceuticals on ecosystems and humans are uncertain, though 'possible health concerns include hormone disruption, antibiotic resistance and synergistic effects.' And antidepressants, says CCE, can 'alter the behavior and reproductive functions of fish and mollusks.'"

"Ever since the late 1990s, the science community has recognized that pharmaceuticals, especially oral contraceptives, are found in sewage water and are potentially contaminating drinking water."

"...experts from private organizations and the government say they can't say for sure whether the levels of drugs in drinking water are low enough to discount harmful health effects."

"Christian Daughton of the EPA's National Exposure Research Laboratory says that neither this nor other recent water assessments give cause for health concern. But several point to the potential for risk, especially for the fetus and those with severely compromised health."

"The occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment also serves to make us acutely aware of the chemical sea that surrounds us."

"There are currently few systematic monitoring programmes or comprehensive studies available on human exposure to pharmaceuticals from drinking-water."

"...implementing additional specialized and costly drinking-water treatment, specifically with the intention of reducing trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals, is not considered necessary at this time..."

"Not only is ethinyl estradiol quite potent, creating "intersex" fish and amphibians, but it is very difficult to remove from wastewater, which carries it into natural waterways."

"The problem is effectively removing ethinyl estradiol can be quite costly."

"The big question is, 'Are we willing to pay this as a society?' Or, alternatively, 'would we prefer to live with the environmental impact?'"

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