The YDD Annex

Because One Blog Is Never Enough

Sunday, March 09, 2008

Drugs In Drinking Water

A lot of us are consuming them. A lot more of us don't know whether we are or are not consuming them. Houston is among the places that haven't tested for tiny amounts of prescription and other drugs in their water supply, and a lot of providers simply aren't telling their customers. Here's a report of the AP study linked above:

AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water

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.


Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public "doesn't know how to interpret the information" and might be unduly alarmed.


Please read the rest of the AP article for details on how this happens. Your first guess is probably the correct one.

(Again, this will be cross-posted to the YDD when that is possible.)


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