According to the evidence gathered by the news agency during its five-month investigation, traces of different pharmaceutical drugs – including antibiotics, anti-depressants, and anabolic steroids – were found in drinking water across the United States.
AP’s investigative team researched on 62 metropolitan water systems and found that 24 of them have water supply contaminated with drug metabolites. One Philadelphia system, for example, reportedly contained at least 56 pharmaceuticals or their byproducts.
Read the following excerpts from the AP’s investigative report for more shocking findings and to find out how this happened in the first place!!!
According to the Associated Press:
A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.
To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.
But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.
In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas — from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville
Here are some of the key test results obtained by the AP:
• Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city’s watersheds.
• Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California.
• Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.
• A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco’s drinking water.
• The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals.
• Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking water supplied to Tucson.
But how did this happen? How do all those compounds end up in your drinking water?
This will GROSS you out, but you need to know the facts to be safe!!!
Many people take medications, including you. Your body does not absorb all the medication. In fact, 90% of the oral drugs pass through your body unchanged and that amount of metabolites are excreted into sewers, and then to sewage plants.
The problem arises because these plants treat the water for all other contaminants but not for drugs. So, the treated water (or shall we say half-treated water) returns to the rivers and lakes and reservoirs. The water is re-used by drinking water plants, which generally do not screen for pharmaceutical compounds, and the water eventually flows into your water tap and to that glass of water you’re holding in your hand.
It goes without saying that this is a dire situation, which needs immediate resolution from the government.
One piece of advice to the federal authorities: Forget about going after steroid users who consciously take the compounds. Look after those who inadvertently ingest steroids and other drugs because of deficient public safety policy!