New dangers found in drinking water
Posted March 14, 2008

It is not surprising to find that there are drugs in our drinking water: look at the continuous bombardment by drug companies to take more of them for allergies, mental disorders, erectile dysfunction and sexually transmitted diseases, anything you can think of.

Where did you think the drugs go when your body can’t use them?

Your tap water may run “clean” when you turn on the tap, but it’s what you can’t see – or filter out – that is cause for concern. 

A vast array of pharmaceuticals has been found in drinking water in 24 metropolitan areas from Southern California to Northern New Jersey.

National statistics do not tell specifically about the quality and safety of the water coming out of the tap. That is because drinking water quality varies from place to place, depending on the condition of the source water from which it is drawn and the treatment it receives.

As for the drug factor, a recent Associated Press investigation found pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, mood stabilizers and sex hormones in the drinking water supplies to 41 million Americans.

Millions of people are taking medications and not all of these medications are completely absorbed by the body.

They are left to be disposed into our sewer system. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers and 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.

Researchers do not yet understand and cannot tell us the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, leaving us in a scary quandary.

Recent studies have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration does not want to panic water drinkers across America, but it has found that such contamination of water has an alarming effect on human cells and does not know the long term effects.

The AP report said the concentrations of these drugs are tiny, far below the levels of medical doses.

Even so, the report says the presence of these drugs in drinking water is heightening concerns among scientists about the long-term impacts on human health and the environment.

Let’s get all the facts, find out what the effects can be and find a solution to this problem. Having traces of medication in our water supply should never be OK.

What about the water filtering systems that Americans spend millions of dollars on to keep their family’s healthy and safe?

You may ask yourself next time if it is just rusty pipes or drugs or something else like morphine or anti-anxiety drugs mixed with caffeine coming from the water system. It is definitely something to think about.

It’s not only an internal thing: it’s external. We use water for everything.

What will happen to your car when you take it to the car wash, curious to know whether the water will strip the paint?

The presence of contaminants does not necessarily indicate that the water poses a health risk.

At high levels, however, these and other contaminants can cause adverse effects.

To make sure that all water is safe to drink, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the FDA set drinking water standards.

These agencies should provide stricter standards to ensure cleaner tap water, particularly in light of the AP report.

Know what you’re buying. Bottled water is much more expensive, per gallon, than tap water. Good filters can remove most chemical contaminants and microbes.

And drugs?

Water that originates from a protected ground water source is less likely to contain certain contaminants such as disease-causing microbes, but not all ground water is protected, and no water is guaranteed to be completely free of contaminants.

If ever in doubt just boil it, to be safe. Or switch to Red Bull ­– but even with that, the first ingredient is water.

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