~~An array of pharmaceuticals including antibiotics, anticonvulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.
The presence of so many prescription drugs and over the counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries amongst scientist of long-term consequences to human health. Although the concentration of these medications are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, researchers do not yet understand the long term affects from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals. Recent studies have found alarming affects on human cells and wildlife.
People take pills and their bodies absorb some of the medication but the rest that's not absorbed is excreted and flushed down the toilet. The waste water is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers, or lakes, and even then some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers, but most treatments do not remove all of the drug residue. Recent lab research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells, and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation. Meanwhile, there's growing concern in the scientific community, that certain drugs or combinations of drugs may harm humans over decades because water, unlike most specific foods, is consumed in sizeable amounts every day. Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one time dose, yet suffer from smaller amounts delivered continuously over half a century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage. Pregnant women, the elderly and the very ill might be more sensitive.
To help keep the pharmaceuticals to a minimum, one sure way is to reverse osmosis, and consume spring water from a reliable and certified company. Another option is a water filter for not only your sink but your shower too.