Pharmaceutical Prescription Drug Water Pollution

Prescription Drug Pollution: A Taste of Our Own Medicine

It seems that our country’s affection for prescription drugs will come back to haunt us, as it is now being proven that our water supply is infected.  

What Can We Do?

Some in the know have suggested using a reverse osmosis filter that should take care of the immediate problem. I guess the question at this point: do all the estimated 41 million people that are presently sourcing their drinking water from the basins that have been tested thus far for these water-borne drug pollutants purchase these special filters? They are first of all very expensive and the other negative side is that several gallons of the water that flows through becomes totally polluted for each one that is drinkable.

Add to this the evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic.

Meanwhile, some of the test facilities carrying out the procedures have voiced that the “parts-per-billion” is far too low to be of concern at the moment. In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania alone, test officials found traces of 56 various pharmaceuticals along with some byproducts in their treated water. There were actually 63 pharmaceuticals and/or byproducts that were found in their watersheds. There are many questions that are left unanswered. For instance, what about “drug interactions” as are sometimes encountered under normal concentrations prescribed to patients who have a need for them on a daily basis?

How Did These Pollutants Reach Our Drinking Water Basins?

The water works experts seem to have the answer to it all. Patients under prescription drug therapy, along with those sold “over-the-counter” for many years here in the U.S. would release the drug through their urine into our septic system. One test lab official commented that the “parts-per-billion” concentration were “insignificant”, somewhat dubious to say the least. There are so many questions that are still left to be answered. Researchers do not understand what the long term effects these low levels of these varied pharmaceuticals are having on the human body along with wildlife. The general public realizes that this polluting from pharmaceuticals has been going on for a long time.

Are There Any Possible Solutions To This Problem?

We are told unofficially by a few that as factories in industry are charged for their air pollution, there should be some sort of monetary penalty made to the pharmaceutical industry, possibly on the basis of yearly sales, or maybe they would have to supply the city and state utilities with the very expensive filters to clear up the water and make it safe for drinking. After all, the pharmaceuticals have provided the chemical polluters, so they should be responsible for the cleanup. One other suggestion is to pass an international law that would expand this requirement worldwide.

With all these suggestions the problem continues, the population keeps increasing, people still get sick and new drugs come on the market on a regular basis. One truth that cannot be denied, i.e., the present drug pollution level within our drink water supply sources will not go away, but only grow worst. As this particular source of our water pollution increases, more aquatic dependent fish that are consumed by both humans and animals will become more toxic, people will get sicker and they will require more drug medications that will continue the cycle and the syndrome goes on and on.