AP: U.S. Drinking Water Tainted with Pharmaceuticals

In a sobering report today, the Associated Press released the findings of a four-month study of the water supplies of 28 US metropolitan areas. Of the 28 cities’ water supplies, 24 were found to hold traces of popular over-the-counter and prescription drugs. These drugs include including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones.

From the article:

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. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies–which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public–have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

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