So far, in this series, we’ve covered issues relating to harmful by-products of chlorine, toxic metals, and fluoride in tap water. Let’s continue on to another, rather strange, ingredient(s) in our tap water.
I’m referring to none other than your “neighbor’s” (already ingested) antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, ibuprofen, sedatives, heart medication, and more!!! That’s right, pharmaceutical medications are in the tap water. Well it does make sense when you think about it. People take drugs and not all of them are absorbed or fully metabolized. The drugs subsequently end up in sewage or wastewater which can then get treated for sterilization and directed into reserviors. It can also get into the surface water or groundwater which again goes to the tap after treatment.
According to the Associated Press(AP), “In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas – from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville.” They also said that the water supply of at least 41 million Americans contains a vast array of pharmaceuticals. Key results noted by the AP are as follows: testing in Philadelphia revealed 56 different drugs or byproducts in treated water including medication for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness, and heart problems. Sixty-three drugs or byproducts were found in the watersheds.
Another article in USA Today said that more than 15 drugs or byproducts were detected in the water sources that feed into NYC taps. These included: medication for “aches; infections; seizures; high blood pressure; hormones for menopause; the active ingredient in a popular sedative; and caffeine”.
There are many more areas around the country where this is a problem, please check the articles above and plenty of others that are easily searchable for further information. And by the way, six of 28 metropolitan areas (where drugs were found in watersheds or their supply) didn’t bother to test the water at the tap. And New York City is one of them!
Let’s see what the (New York) city water officials have to say. Well, nothing to the AP because they declined multiple requests for an interview with them. They did however, issue this statement: “New York City’s drinking water continues to meet all federal and state regulations regarding drinking water quality in the watershed and the distribution system.” Phew! Oh wait, there are no federal or state regulations in place for pharmaceuticals in the water supply.
Another article from the AP states some more baffling news. “In April (presumably 2008, the article is dated 9/11/08) New York City council members insisted during an emergency hearing that their drinking water be tested. But DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) officials declared that “the testing of finished tap water is not warranted at this time”.”
If you are interested in how the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works is not happy with how the US Environmental Protection Agency is dealing (or not dealing) with this problem, click here.
One last issue (I’ll mention) is that the USA Today article states that there is evidence that the added chlorine in tap water is making some of those pharmaceuticals more toxic.
OK, now let’s talk about the health issue of this. Well, that’s quite the cocktail! Fortunately, it’s most likely going to be infintessimally low doses compared to prescriptive doses. However, there is obviously no data on the long-term effects. I can’t but help but re-iterate how you will be adding to your bodies toxic burden and stressing your detoxification pathways with the addition of ANY amount of a toxin(s). Will this be the straw that broke the camel’s back in developing that chronic disease (cancer, thyroid, liver, or kidney problems, etc.) of unknown origin? So it’s really just one more thing to add to the list. So far the list (in tap water alone) consists of chlorinated byproducts, toxic metals, and (maybe) fluoride. That’s a generous maybe, by the way.
Also, please stop and think – if I had a glass of the cleanest, purest, fresh water possible and then told you I added a cocktail of random pharmaceuticals to it, would you drink it???
LASTLY, raise your hand if you think there must also be illicit drugs like cocaine, heroin and methamphetamines in the water!
Keep in mind, even though I’m not a proponent of drinking tap water, that does NOT mean I am a proponent of drinking bottled water. More on that in future articles.
More on better choices than tap water coming soon.
Dr. Robert D’Aquila – NYC Chiropractor – Applied Kinesiology