Drugs in Drinking Water

Posted: March 1, 2011 in Danger, chemical exposure!, harmless or hazardous?

The water we drink, a vital substance for our survival, is being polluted with pharmaceuticals without us knowing.

In 2008, a study was made by the “associated press national investigation team”. They tested treated water in 24 major metropolitan city’s and 50 suburbs  in america. The tests showed that over 41 million people were being exposed to pharmaceutical drugs, that means there were only two city’s where no drugs were found.

The contamination however isn’t restricted to the U.S, more than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been found in lakes, rivers and reservoirs all over the world. Studies shows that drugs have been found in waters throughout Asia, Europe, Australia, Canada and the North sea and a huge variety of drugs has been found, including antibiotics, pain relievers, heart drugs, mind drugs, veterinary drugs and even tranquilizers.

The question you might ask is, why does the water I drink contain these kinds of drugs? How does it get into the water?

Well as you know, people take pills. Their bodies then absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and gets flushed down the toilet. The waste water 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. Most treatments however do not remove all drug residue. Even users of bottled water and home filtration systems don’t necessarily avoid exposure. According to the industry’s main trade group, some bottles are just simply repackaged tap water and do not typically get tested or treated for pharmaceuticals. The same goes for home filtration systems.

Still, the exact risks from decades of exposure to different random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals hasn’t yet been determined. Recent studies however have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

Despite all these studies and results, the federal government (U.S) doesn’t require any testing and hasn’t set safety limits for drugs in water. That means that anybody who gets the urge can walk right up to a water supply and dump all the drugs he or she wants.

Below is a list of some of the pharmaceuticals that’s been found in treated drinking water.

Amoxicillin — for pneumonia, stomach ulcers

Azithromycin — for pneumonia, sexually transmitted diseases

Bacitracin — prevents infection in cuts and burns

Chloramphenicol — for serious infections when other antibiotics can’t be used

Ciprofloxacin — for anthrax, other infections

Doxycycline — for pneumonia, Lyme disease, acne

Lincomycin — for strep, staph, other serious infections

Oxytetracycline — for respiratory, urinary infections

Penicillin G — for anthrax, other infections

Penicillin V — for pneumonia, scarlet fever, infections of ear, skin, throat

Sulfadiazine — for urinary infections, burns

Acetaminophen — soothes arthritis, aches, colds, reduces fever

Aspirin — for minor aches, pain, lowers risk of heart attack and stroke

Diclofenac — for arthritis, menstrual cramps, other pain

Ibuprofen — for arthritis, aches, menstrual cramps, reduces fever

Prednisone — for arthritis, allergic reactions, multiple sclerosis, some cancers

HEART DRUGS Atenolol — for high blood pressure

Bezafibrate — for cholesterol problems

Diltiazem — for high blood pressure, chest pain

Simvastatin — slows production of cholesterol

MIND DRUGS Carbamazepine — for seizures, mood regulating

Diazepam — for anxiety, seizures, eases alcohol withdrawal

Fluoxetine — for depression, relieves premenstrual mood swings

Meprobamate — for anxiety

Phenytoin — controls epileptic seizures

Risperidone — for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, severe behavior problems

Caffeine — found in coffee, also used in pain relievers

Cotinine — byproduct of nicotine, drug in tobacco, also used in products to help smokers quit

Iopromide — given as contrast agent for medical imaging

Nicotine — found in tobacco, also in medicinal products to help smokers quit

Theophylline — for asthma, bronchitis and emphysema

Enrofloxacin — for infections in farm animals and pets; treats wounds

Monensin — for weight gain, prevention of severe diarrhea in farm animals

Oleandomycin — for respiratory disease; promotes growth in farm animals

Salinomycin — promotes growth in livestock

Sulfamethazine — for bacterial diseases in farm animals; promotes growth

Stay tuned for part 2

Your friend in the wind


  1. Ryan A says:

    Dude! that’s fucked up!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s