Drugs in your drinking
Is there a connection between
prescription drugs, water you drink,
and you? You bet. Recent investigation by the Associated Press
added more details to what is already known - that unmetabolized
drugs, both non-prescription and prescription, flashed down the
toilets arrive at waste water management plants and, from there,
find their way into your drinking
And in rather wide variety. Painkillers, tranquilizers,
heart medications, hormones, anticonvulsants, sexual stimulants,
antibiotics - you name it.
No one knows for sure which ones, or how many altogether,
because testing for them is either non-existent, or very
limited. The highest count in the AP investigation was for
Philadelphia - 56 pharmaceutical chemicals. But you can be
assured, there's more than that; and, whenever there is a few
that tested positive, there are many more.
We are talking about very low levels of contamination, much
lower than any individual dose. On the other hand, we are also
talking about dozens and dozens of such trace contaminants
pouring into your body day in and day out, for decades. Also, it
is largely unknown what kind of interactions drug residues
undergo with other
water contaminants, as well as chemical agents purposely added to it -
The question is, of course, does it affect your
Officials, both from EPA and water provider facilities are quick
to declare that drinking water is safe. As a matter of fact,
they don't really know it. Federal government doesn't require
testing, nor has sat safety limits of any kind for
pharmaceuticals in drinking water. Very little of research on
the subject has been done.
Some water suppliers don't even think we should know
about it. According to the AP, head representative of the major
California water suppliers stated that public doesn't know how
to properly interpret that information, and could become "too
Remember that - apparently, some public officials think
that they can decide
information related to your health
is appropriate - or not - for you to know.
What we do know for sure is that pharmaceutical contaminants
affects aquatic and soil wildlife. The fish is probably affected
the most, due to the effect of bio-magnification, causing
contaminant concentration to rise sharply going toward the
top predator - in this case from plankton and plankton eating
water inhabitants, to smaller and large fish.
But don't forget:
we are the top planet predator, and it all finally comes to us -
not only through drinking water.
Of course, meat and dairy are another significant source of
pharmaceutical contaminants, from synthetic hormones and
antibiotics that the animals are treated with.
So, what can you do to prevent pharmaceutical - and other -
residues from entering your body? Not much. You can use water
filter, a good one, but it is not likely to remove more than a
fraction of these contaminants from your water. You can try to
find some source of relatively untouched, pristine water - there
are still a few left - but unless you're lucky enough to have it
locally, it is likely to be expensive.
┆ NUTRITION ┆