When we think of pollution we often think of dirty, toxic substances that are being disposed of improperly, that are harmful to us and the environment. However, scientists are detecting pharmaceuticals such as birth control pills, anti-depressants, along with chemicals from everyday products like shampoo are in our rivers and streams as well.
According to this story by the New York Times, increasing amounts of pharmaceuticals and personal care products, also referred to as P.P.C.P.’s, are being detected in the nation’s waterways thanks to better monitoring and detecting technology and to a general upswing in the population consuming pharmaceuticals.
According to Christian Daughton, a scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency, public water supplies remove or alter many chemical compounds, thanks to chlorination and filtration with activated charcoal. However, some scientists debate whether even “low levels” of P.P.C.P.’s are tolerable or safe for us and our environment.
Read the entire New York Times story, “Drugs are in the water. Does it matter?”
If you are concerned about the water quality in your home, here are some things you can do:
- Add a water filter to your home tap or add an under sink water filter. The Omni Filter Undersink Replacement Water Filter, Misc GAC1-SS, is recommended for those using well water.
- Make sure all the water in your home is clean, with a whole-house water filter. Replacement whole house water filters by GE use a carbon filtration system to make sure the water you shower, drink, and wash with is clean and pure.
- Many of today’s refrigerators include refrigerator water filters that strip away impurities from the water and ice being dispensed by them. Below are the most popular makers of refrigerator water filters including: Amana, Frigidaire, GE, Maytag, Whirlpool, and many others.
Don’t discard extra medications by flushing them down the toilet. If you need to get rid of expired, or unneeded meds, check with your local pharmacy to see if they offer a medication “recycling” program. Such programs will dispose of the drugs safely and in a way that does not harm us or the environment.
To find out about Prescription Drug Return, Reuse and Recycling Laws visit the National Conference of State Legislatures.