...but not a drug-free drop to drink.
According to a chilling Associated Press report, the water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas tested positive for the presence of pharmaceuticals.
That is, approximately 41 million Americans are getting more than just H20 from their faucets.
Everything from anti-convulsants, cholesterol-lowering drugs, antibiotics and sex hormones to acetaminophen and ibuprofen, were found in both the drinking water and the watersheds.
All things not being equal, some areas scored far worse than others. Philadelphia’s drinking water tested positive for 56 pharmaceuticals (63 in the watershed) while Washington, DC showed only 6.
Although only trace amounts of these, and dozens of other pharmaceuticals, were detected, researchers have no idea how long-term exposure to this cosmic cocktail will affect people down the road. And initial studies are showing “alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.”
Benjamin H. Grumbles, the assistant administrator for water at the EPA said, “We recognize it as a growing concern and we’re taking it very seriously.”
So how do these drugs get into the water?
When people take medications, their bodies only absorb a portion of it. The rest is passed into the toilet and flushed. But most waste water treatments don’t account for pharmaceuticals. Nor do most of the simple home-based filtration systems like Pur or Brita.
The report also found that is doesn’t seem to matter if your water is from a municipal reservoir, a deep aquifer or your own personal well. Pharmceuticals still find a way to leach down into the water supply.
Naturally, the pharmaceutical industry claims these contaminants pose no threat to humans.
But this is the same team that thinks everyone in the world should be taking a cholesterol-lowering statin…and would gladly add it to the drinking water if they could.
So, what are your available options? Well, right now, it looks like a reverse osmosis filter is the only option for filtering out all pharmaceuticals. And while they are cost-prohibitive for large-scale use. With a simple Google search you can find a “whole house” system online for about $500 - $700.