Medications and Your Drinking Water

For many years, people have felt that disposing of medications was easy: you either throw them right into the garbage or dispose of them via the toilet. Although this seems like it wouldn’t propose any dangers that might come back to affect human health, studies over the past decade have decided differently. Old, unused, and unwanted medications that are being flushed down the toilet are actually circling around and entering into city and state water systems, including household drinking water, rivers, lakes, etc. Although the short-term effect is somewhat mild, these studies are showing the increase in long-term effects on human health.

“The USGS conducted the first major investigation in 2002 and found, on average, seven chemical compounds in the streams they surveyed” (American Rivers). These chemicals vary from pharmaceuticals to personal use products (i.e. beauty products). At the time of the investigation, many water suppliers were not even testing the water for these types of compounds, but there was a wide variety of pharmaceuticals found, including pain killers and mood stabilizers. Although some amount of the compounds entering the water does not seem preventable, being that the human body has to relieve themselves, and if they are on the medications some of the bodily fluids will contain them, but flushing these pharmaceuticals directly down the toilet is allowing more of the compound to ultimately enter the drinking water; many of the drugs are broken down into too fine of increments to be caught in the filtration system.

The FDA has had a list of medications that are okay to flush, in small increments, but the long-term impacts of these small amounts are still being looked into. Taking the chance on flushing medications [regardless of the amount] is one that many are not comfortable with, and for a good reason. Regardless of the small amounts, if the water is tested, the results are there. The topic should be of greater concern, but thankfully it’s constantly being researched, including the impacts of pharmaceuticals on the natural habitat of rivers and other water sources, including the fish and other animals that reside in them.

The number one way for people to ensure that pharmaceuticals do not impact drinking water is by using proper disposal methods that do not require any flushing of the drugs. There are multiple take-back programs that are offered in local communities, mainly on an annual or semi-annual basis; however, Rx Disposal has come up with a product that is easier, more convenient, and more cost efficient for communities and the DEA. NarcX was created with the sole desire to help the opioid epidemic, and part of that process involves healthcare facilities and their communities being informed of how they can do their part. Being part of the solution is where NarcX comes in. With medication disposal often being taxing and time consuming, NarcX is able to be used onsite and will completely breakdown tablets and pills in a matter of just two hours, all while being DEA compliant.

Be part of the solution, and call NarcX today (844) 793-4776.

 

Sources:

https://www.americanrivers.org/threats-solutions/clean-water/pharmaceuticals-personal-care/

https://www.focusforhealth.org/drinking-prescription-drugs-tap-water/

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