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.