Sunday, March 9, 2008

Don't drink the water?

They're getting into our highland watersheds. Deep into our planet's underground natural reserves. Seeping into rural wells from septic tanks and cattle fields. Leaching into your cities reservoirs. Passing through your town's sewage treatment plants and flowing directly back into the source of your drinking water. Very few -- if any -- municipal water suppliers check or filter for them. Same goes for most bottled water companies.


Acetaminophen and ibuprofen.

Prescription medications for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems.

Anti-convulsant, anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications.

Metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine.

Antibiotics of all types.

Naproxen, estrone (a human gender hormone) and clofibric acid (a metabolized anti-cholesterol drug byproduct.)

Trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used to make cattle grow faster and illegally used by some athletes to enhance muscle building.

Some key quotes:

"The federal government doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water."

"There’s evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic."

"Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation."

"Pharmaceuticals also can produce side effects and interact
(me: in sometimes unexpected ways) with other drugs."

"One technology, reverse osmosis, removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants but is very expensive for large-scale use and leaves several gallons of polluted water for every one that is made drinkable."

. . . which possibly means that the safest water to drink in our nation may be from the huge reverse osmosis desalination plant on the northwest coast of the big island of Hawaii.

Read on: (first part of three -- the other two are forthcoming.)
AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water.