The Drugs in Our Drinking Water

An investigation by the Associated Press has found the presence of a vast array of pharmaceuticals, from antibiotics to anticonvulsants to sex hormones (albeit at a very low concentration) in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas in the USA:

Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public "doesn't know how to interpret the information" and might be unduly alarmed.

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.


Newest 3
Newest 3 Comments

Now I can't drink bottled or tap water? Dos cervecas por favor. Oh wait, they probably make that out of tap water. Should I start collecting rain? Damn, smog.

We're gonna get awfully thirsty.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Commenting is closed.

Email This Post to a Friend
"The Drugs in Our Drinking Water"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More