How Do Pharmaceutical Drugs Get in Drinking Water? The Answer is Here

How do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water? Did this question cross your mind after the recent release of an AP investigative report on the subject?

Before the story, I never thought about what was in the water that I was drinking. I felt safe. The only time I ever worried about the water that I drinking was when we had a severe storm and a boil water order was issued.

But, after seeing that headline flash on the TV screen, I knew I needed to know more. Just like you I asked myself the question, “How do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water?”

Then I thought about it for a minute. I thought about all the places that drugs are found starting with the labs that create the drugs. From there, the pharmaceuticals reach hospitals, clinics, doctors’ offices, pharmacies, patients, veterinarians, farmers and the list goes on. I thought about how they get from one place to another. They are transported by boat, plane, car, truck, and mail carrier. And finally I thought about the billions of people who use pharmaceuticals everyday. It didn’t take me very long to realize the answer to my question, “How do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water?” The answer is a simple one. We put them there.

Drug recalls, expired drugs, defective drugs all have to go somewhere. They end up in landfills or flushed down the drain. We do it in our homes. If we have expired or left over medicine, what do we do with it? We put it in the trash; rinse it down the drain or flush it down the toilet. No matter which method is chosen the drugs eventually end up in the water It really is a wonder that we don’t read more articles with the headline: probe finds drugs in drinking water.

But, answering the question, “How do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water?” wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to know how I could protect my family.

I ran out and bought a case of bottled water But, then I discovered that the water that I had bought was tap water in a bottle. In fact, I discovered that most bottled water is tap water This definitely wasn’t the right choice.

I didn’t want to have to worry ever again if I read: “Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water” in my local newspaper. So I checked out getting a water filtration system for my home.

There were a lot of different water filtration methods available. I found distillers, reverse osmosis systems, carbon-ion systems etc.; but which one was right for me?

I checked them out and discovered that the carbon-ion filtration method did the best job when it comes to making sure that the drugs found in our drinking water will not reach my children’s lips.

The carbon-ion filtration method is twofold. First the thick carbon block filters the water so any bacteria, chemical, or other sediment is trapped. The ion exchange acts to render the drugs and other chemicals found in water inert.

I found out through my research that I don’t really need to know the answer to the question: “how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water?”. Or have to worry about headlines that read; “probe finds drugs in drinking water ” I just have to sit back and let my carbon-ion filtration work for me.

For more information on the importance of water filters, visit Water Is Health.

How Do Pharmaceutical Drugs Get in Drinking Water?

First of all, it’s a fact: many prescription drugs, plus over-the-counter drugs, have been found in public water supplies serving millions, virtually all over the United States and Europe.

The New York Times and the Associated Press have both reported on these findings in recent months, with widely printed, broadcast and webcast stories carrying headlines like, “Probe finds drugs in drinking water.”

Part of the problem is hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and doctor’s offices washing out-of-date or unwanted drugs down drains. Leaky septic tanks are another suggested source. Some 40 percent of antibiotics manufactured in America are fed to livestock as a growth stimulant, and manure from these animals is another likely source of drugs in drinking water. A small part may come from manufacturing plants, but these are the only potential sources that are carefully monitored.

Finally, you and I are a major cause of the problem.

Pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water when people on medication go to the toilet: they excrete drugs not fully absorbed by the body, plus metabolized byproducts. Also, many people dispose of unwanted drugs by flushing them down the toilet.

Water companies treat the waste before discharging it into rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and then treat it again before it enters our drinking water supplies. But our water treatment plants were never designed to remove drugs from our drinking water; they are designed to get rid of disease germs, odors, and long-known hazards like lead and PCBs. Not surprisingly, these water treatments don’t remove all traces of drugs.

Amount of drugs is small, but is it safe?

The amount of pharmaceutical drugs in drinking water is nearly always very small, usually measured in parts per billion. But many different drugs have been found in public water supplies, in endless combinations. And we drink the water year after year. No one really knows whether it’s safe to do so.

“We recognize it is a growing concern and we’re taking it very seriously.”
said Benjamin H. Grumbles, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assistant administrator for water.

What are these drugs?

Here are a few:

Anti-epileptic drugs and tranquilizers found in Southern California; a sex hormone in San Francisco; antibiotics and other medications in Tucson, Arizona; pharmaceutical drugs for pain, infection, cholesterol control, asthma and heart conditions in Philadelphia; carbamazepine, a mood stabilizer, and a metabolized byproduct of angina medication in Northern New Jersey.

It’s not just public water systems that suffer from drugs in drinking water. Pharmaceutical drugs have been found in private wells, too. Bottled water is also affected. Bottlers do not test or treat for pharmaceuticals, and 40 percent of bottled water is just repackage tap water.

The good news: You can take practical, cost-effective action

Here are some reasonable things you can do:

1. Avoid bottled water. At a cost ranging from just under a dollar up to $10 a gallon, it’s the world’s most expensive answer to pharmaceutical drugs found in drinking water. More than 80 percent of the bottles end up in landfills; chemicals leach from the plastic bottle into the water and may affect our health; and the petroleum used would fuel about 100,000 cars each year. Even then, it’s not a solution: nearly half is just bottled tap water, as noted above.

2. Don’t flush unneeded drugs down the toilet. If possible, treat them as you would unused paint or household chemicals and turn them into a local center to be disposed of, often by incineration. At worst, wrap them up and put them in the garbage.

3. Don’t use deodorants or other personal care items containing the antibiotic triclosan.

4. Consider organic meats, raised without a diet of antibiotics.

5. Consider a quality home water filter, then bottle your own water if you wish. Use a glass container or one of a few water bottles on the market that aren’t plastic.

How Do Pharmaceutical Drugs Get in Drinking Water When Taxpayers Support Water Treatment Systems?

Have you ever imagined that it was possible for prescription drugs to come out of your kitchen faucet? I know it seems hard to believe, but just how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water when taxpayers support water treatment systems? When a recent probe finds drugs in drinking water, then it’s time to take this question very seriously.

The funny thing about this issue is that scientists didn’t begin studying this problem until it was brought to their attention by an award-winning science project conducted by a West Virginia high school student. This is how this amazing story unfolded:

1. Ashley Mulroy’s student scientific probe finds drugs in drinking water.

2. The EPA and National Geological Survey now want to know how do phramaceutical drugs get into drinking water.

3. Their investigations turn up traces of antibiotics, anti-depressants, birth control drugs and caffeine in numerous water samples taken from across the country.

4. Because this is a relatively new discovery, scientists are unsure about the long-term health effects on humans.

5. Medical experts worry about the development of “super,” disease-causing bugs that may be created from drug-infested water supplies.

6. Municipal, tax supported, water treatment systems are not currently equipped to remove pharmaceutical drugs from water supplies.

The majority of our local water treatment facilities are based upon chlorination. While chlorine is capable of disinfecting certain dangerous bacteria, it can’t filter out synthetic substances like pharmaceuticals. Ironically, just like prescription drugs, chlorine is also a synthetic chemical. With all the water pollution that comes from industrial chemicals, our inadequate water treatment systems desperately need to be updated.

Ok. So now we know that prescription drugs are, in fact, present in our water. But that still doesn’t answer the question, “how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water?” The answer isn’t all that mysterious. The earth’s entire water supply is fixed. This means that this finite supply gets used over and over and over. Water flows down our drains from our sinks, tubs and toilets, into our local water treatment systems, carrying whatever substances that we’ve added from our daily usage…including any drugs that pass through our bodies.

So where does that leave us? Just because a probe finds drugs in drinking water, and our tax supported water treatment systems can’t get rid of them, are we sitting ducks for whatever dangerous effects these substances may or may not produce?

The answer is an emphatic, “NO!” You can safeguard your family’s drinking water from the potential dangers of pharmaceuticals and the majority of chemical toxins by installing an in home water filtration system.

Reverse osmosis and distillation systems can do the job, but you may find them to be expensive and inconvenient options. For my money and time, I have found that home water purification systems that use a multi-stage filtration method are the best at providing a clean, healthy, all-purpose water supply. This means we can drink, cook, bathe and shower, confident in the fact that we’re not being exposed to dangerous chemical contaminants…including chlorine.

If a probe finds drugs in drinking water then I think it begs the question, “how do pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water when we pay taxes for clean water?” Until it’s possible to get a satisfactory answer, do you and your family a favor. Look into finding the best in home water filtration system.