Scary-Ass Tap Water Troubles!

An especially disturbing report from an Associated Press investigation was issued this past week regarding trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in our tap water. These included antidepressants, antibiotics, heart medicines, various narcotics, steroids and even birth control substances. How did they get there?

• Since our bodies don’t absorb all of these lovely chemicals, some are excreted and flushed into our sewers.
• But sewage treatment plants don’t adequately remove these drugs from the water before it flows back into our rivers, lakes and reservoirs.
• From there, it’s filtered back through drinking water plants where they often fail to screen for drugs, as well.
• As a result, these trace levels of drugs flow freely from our faucets at home.

How rampant is this? This investigation found traces of drugs in 24 out of 62 major metropolitan water systems it tested. Drinking water in Philadelphia, for example, contained trace amounts of 56 different pharmaceuticals.

Now, to put this in perspective: we’re talking miniscule amounts here and no one has officially determined what affect this ultimately might have on human health. But still, we are seeing some disturbing things happening to some animals who are exposed to these tainted waters. As one freaky example, many male fish are developing female traits and are experiencing reproductive issues. This is likely due to their exposure to human birth control drugs.

So any way you want to slice it, it’s a strong case to drop the dough on a reverse-osmosis tap water filtering system at home, which is one of the only methods proven to successfully filter out these pharmaceuticals.

About Bobby Rock

Bobby Rock is a world renown drummer, the author of nine books, and a recognized health and fitness specialist with certifications in exercise, nutrition and meditation. He has recorded and toured with a variety of artists, released three CDs as a solo performer and is recognized as a top drumming educator. He is currently touring with rock icon, Lita Ford. Through speaking, writing and activism, Bobby remains committed to a number of animal and environmental causes. Bobby lives in Los Angeles.
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6 Responses to Scary-Ass Tap Water Troubles!

  1. Trevor says:

    I was reading the other day that showering with normal tap water is as dangerous, if not moreso, than drinking it, as our skin/body absorbs quite a deal of it!

    Any thoughts on this Bobby?

  2. Lisamarie says:

    Wow I’ve never heard of or thought about that! SO what the heck should we shower with, if not the water that comes out of the shower head??

  3. Trevor says:

    Elaine Hollingsworth, in her book, ‘Take Control of Your Health – and Escape the Sickness Industry’ (8th edition 2003) states:

    “Ideally, every household that uses municipal water should have efficient filters at source. Most cannot afford such luxuries and are left with little choice, other than bathing in a chemical stew which, inevitably, is absorbed by the body.” p.256

    On the topic of filters, she says:

    “Reverse osmosis filters remove the fluoride, as well as chlorine and other poisons. But the water this system produces is ‘dead’ and it also wastes lots of water”. p.256

    Elaine Hollingsworth is the Director of Hippocrates Health Centre of Australia.
    Some of her beliefs can be further investigated at: and

    Bobby, after reading much of what you have had to say on nutrition, I know that you agree with many beliefs this author holds, but similarly would disagree with many as well.

    As for me, I’m still rather confused.

  4. Lisamarie says:

    Thanks for that, Trevor.
    So is there such thing as a filter for the bath/shower water as well as for kitchen and bathroom faucets?
    I don’t use tap water other that for washing dishes-I don’t even use it in cooking. But again what about showering/bathing, Bobby?

  5. trinity says:


    what other supplements should we take other than the ultimate meal? what are your main recommendations? thanks
    midland, tx

  6. Bobby Rock says:

    Hey Everyone –

    Yes, depending on the exact status of your local water supply, showering with tap water can indeed offer a whole host of special ingredients! So if you can find a good filtering shower head, more power to you…especially if it has a reverse osmosis style water filter.

    My most recommended shower filtering products are from a company called Sprite Industries. Check them out here:

    At the same time, this really is a “pick your poison” issue. Environmental toxins are all around us, and it’s very difficult to escape exposure to ALL of them. And in my case, where my travels have brought me in and out of a lot of showers at hotels around the world, there often isn’t a choice. But I wouldn’t trip out about it….especially if the rest of your diet/lifestyle is pretty clean.

    So do the best you can and, to tie in to Trinity’s question, always take a good multi-antioxidant. This is the one kind of supplement that virtually anyone who lives in or near the elements of city life can benefit from. The Ultimate Defense (by the same folks who make The Ultimate Meal) is my favorite.

    Also, to Trinity – you had asked a couple questions the other day:

    Regarding hair/skin products, there are tons of quality, animal friendly options, but Aveda remains one of my overall favorites. They don’t test and almost all of their products are vegan. Just make sure to avoid the few products they have with animal products (beeswax and lanolin). Also, check out Ecco Bella ( They have some great stuff, as well.

    As for the blood pressure/cholesterol issue, check out today’s blog. (3-14-08) I know you guys had asked me about that before…sorry for the delay.


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