What’s in your water? No, this is not a play on the credit card commercial, but I dare say you probably know more about your credit card company than you do about the glass of water you are drinking and you wouldn’t be alone.
Recent studies show that water in New York City contains a whole batch of pharmaceuticals. Hmm…and you thought it just tasted funny because of the chlorine. Besides how in the world could this happen, water is regulated by the Federal Government! Well pretty easy actually on the how could this happen part. People flush a lot of stuff down the drain. You throw away your old pills don’t you; down the sink more than into the garbage? Your Doctor throws stuff away as well, as do pharmaceutical companies and add to that the fact you go to the bathroom, and a lot of that stuff stays in your system till you get rid of it. Yikes, I never knew!
But that is sewage? Well, it all ends back up in the river and lakes once it is cleaned of the bad organic stuff. Unfortunately we don’t clean pharmaceutical products out of the water. I mean after all, we are talking parts per million here and where would we begin? The government has never established standards for pharmaceuticals in our water and probably never will.
What kind of drugs are they finding? The article states, “drugs for aches, infections, seizures and high blood pressure; hormones for menopause; the active ingredient in a popular sedative; and caffeine — all bound for the city that never sleeps.” And what effect all of this over the counter, under the counter and by the counter medicine will have on you or your unborn is pretty much unknown. Alas those looking for smoking guns to blame a medical problem on will have a lot of difficulty blaming it on the water given the fact that there are just way too many things in the water that might have precipitated your problem.
Some of you are saying, hey, “I’m going to get bottled water!” Well, sad to say, that water in most cases is made from tap water. Check out bottled water in the archives of this blog for more on what you can find there. Just filtered a bit more and chances are they aren’t filtering the water for any of these pharmaceuticals either. How wide spread is the problem? In a recent associated press study water was found to contain a doctors list of medications and contaminants including but not limited to; “heart medicine, infection fighters, estrogen, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizer and tranquilizers,” in over twenty three major populations around the United States. If you are thinking this was New York’s problem, think again, it appears to be in all our water supplies as well as a world wide water problem. Pharmaceuticals have been found in water supplies around the world. Should you be thinking that by just adding some chlorine we could get the problem cleaned up, well, bust another bubble. The AP study finds that by adding chlorine it only intensifies the effect of some of these chemicals.
The jury hasn’t even formed as to figuring out what to do about this new form of pollution in our water. Until then, we might be wise to do what the French do; drink the wine!