Drug Residues in US Water Supply

From <www.gristmagazine.com>

A federal survey that found trace levels of medications in rivers and
streams throughout the U.S. could prompt the Food and Drug
Administration to revitalize its environmental investigations into
drug safety. The first-of-its-kind survey of more than 100 waterways
found low levels of dozens of antibiotics, hormones, painkillers,
cough suppressants, disinfectants, and other products excreted by
humans and animals. Many of these substances fall through regulatory
cracks, because they are not defined as pollution under clean water
laws, and the FDA has not examined the environmental impact of most
drugs since 1997. As a result, the long-term health effects of
exposure to the contaminated water are unknown. The hydrology
program of the U.S. Geological Survey is studying whether any
contamination reaches drinking water, but the program is slated to be
eliminated under proposed Bush administration budget cuts.

straight to the source: New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin, 14 Mar 2002

only in Grist: Everything from the kitchen sink -- nearly every drug
under the sun is showing up in our drinking water -- and other gems
from assorted magazines in our Best of the Rest section

do good: Take action to stop messing with antibiotics


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