Drugs in our Water?

Recent research is indicating that the level of pharmaceutical drugs that flow within our waterways is high enough that is is having an impact on the health of their aquatic life.  This phenomenon is being called pharmaceutical pollution and seems to rear it's head primarily in our water.  What drugs are filtered out however, generally end up in our fertilizer.

So far, the drugs that have been identified include a cocktail of antibiotics, antidepressants, blood thinners, heart medications, hormones, painkillers as well as caffeine and anti-seizure medication.  One or more have been found in 80% of the water from a sample of 139 streams in 30 states in the USA.  Although our water treatment plants are very efficient in filtering our water, they are not yet designed to filter out these substances.

Fortunately, no harmful effects from pharmaceutical pollution have been found in humans as of yet.  There is still time to make better choices for ourselves, for our children and for our communities at large.  Below is a list of simple things that we can all do to reduce the amount and effect of drugs in our water and soil:

  • Beef up your preventative health routine.  A good diet full of fresh veggies, fruits, whole grains and legumes combined with an enjoyable exercise routine will always yield far better health results than a reactive drug regimen.
  •  Consider using natural or less concentrated remedies for your health concerns.  
  •  When you do use drugs and need to dispose of them, take them to a drug take-back program so they can dispose of them properly.  http://disposemymeds.org/ is a website that will help you to locate a program near you (USA).   Do not dispose of them in the toilet or down the drain.
  • If you can, limit purchasing drugs in bulk.  This will make it less likely that they will be disposed of in bulk and reduce the amount of drugs found in our natural and much needed resources.
  Taking these simple steps will improve your health, improve the health of the world that we live in and prevent the unknown consequences of drugs and drug interactions in our environment.  We can always make better choices, and it feels great!