Is Our Water Poisoning Us?
Unless you’re doing something about it, YES IT IS!
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.
But the presence of so many prescription drugs, and over-the-counter in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.
How do the drugs get into the water?
People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers
Researchers have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.
Just Some of the pharmaceuticals found in the water include medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness, Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications, metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine, sex hormones.
These have been found in Many water supplies from Southern Ca all the way to New York. Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world.
Perhaps it's because Americans have been taking drugs — and flushing them unmetabolized or unused — in growing amounts. Over the past five years, the number of U.S. prescriptions rose 12 percent to a record 3.7 billion.
Some drugs, including widely used cholesterol fighters, tranquilizers and anti-epileptic medications, resist modern drinking water and wastewater treatment processes. Plus, the EPA says there are no sewage treatment systems specifically engineered to remove pharmaceuticals.
One technology, reverse osmosis, removes virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants but is very expensive for large-scale use.
Something you can do at home is to add a reverse osmosis water filter for your own drinking water.
Here are a couple of my favorite options (I try to buy made in the US. That is were I live.)
APEC Water - Top Tier - Built in USA - Certified Ultra Safe, High-Flow 90 GPD Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (RO-90)
APEC - Top Tier - Built in USA - Ultra Safe, Premium 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis Drinking Water Filter System (ROES-50)
5 Stage Home Drinking Reverse Osmosis System PLUS Extra Full Set- 4 Water Filter
Another issue: There's evidence that adding chlorine, a common process in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some pharmaceuticals more toxic.
Human waste isn't the only source of contamination. Cattle, for example, are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the animals. Where does the rest go? If the public consumes this meat much of it ends up in our systems.
Ask the pharmaceutical industry whether the contamination of water supplies is a problem, and officials will tell you no (Not surprisingly). "Based on what we now know, I would say we find there's little or no risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health," said microbiologist Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.
But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby — director of environmental technology for drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. — said: "There's no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds are getting into our water sources.”
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.
Also, pharmaceuticals in waterways are damaging wildlife across the nation and around the globe, research shows. Notably, male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually restricted to females.
"I think it's a shame that so much money is going into monitoring to figure out if these things are out there, and so little is being spent on human health," said Snyder.
Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one-time dose, yet suffer from a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage.
Many concerns about chronic low-level exposure focus on certain drug classes: chemotherapy that can act as a powerful poison; hormones that can hamper reproduction or development; medicines for depression and epilepsy that can damage the brain or change behavior; antibiotics that can allow human germs to mutate into more dangerous forms; pain relievers and blood-pressure diuretics.
For several decades, federal environmental officials and nonprofit watchdog environmental groups have focused on regulated contaminants — pesticides, lead, PCBs — which are present in higher concentrations and clearly pose a health risk. However, some experts say medications may pose a unique danger because, unlike most pollutants, they were crafted to act on the human body.
"We know we are being exposed to other people's drugs through our drinking water, and that can't be good," says Dr. David Carpenter, who directs the Institute for Health and the Environment of the State University of New York at Albany.
This article was found on the front page of yahoo news on – line and is not some abstract finding. Wellness is a choice that we all have to make on a daily basis. We are being besieged from all angles even if we are not aware of it. Inform yourself and fight back as best you can.
Dr. Craig Mortensen