Sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. The idea that we inadvertently ingest Prozac every time we drink a glass of tap water sounds like a conspiracy theory. But is not. In the last decade, there have been reports of traces of pharmaceuticals in the water cycle, including surface water, wastewater, groundwater and, to a lesser extent, drinking water, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).
How Prozac getting into our drinking water?
Unless conspiracy theories, is really a surprise as fluoxetine, also known by the trade name Prozac gets into drinking water. Antidepressants are the most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States. With approximately 250 million prescriptions a year, which are the highest documented drugs that pollute our waterways. If you live in a urban area, there is a good chance that your tap water is mixed with small quantities of antidepressants .
Often old pills are flushed down the toilet, or drug is excreted during removal. It is estimated that 80 percent can not be broken down into our bodies. active chemicals are recycled back into the reservoirs due to the treatment plants can not filter out.
Fish on antidepressants?
The consequence of Prozac in the water leaves the experts concerned about fish , reports Scientific American . Traces of the drug frequently appear in the current United States, affecting aquatic ecosystems.
Exposure to Prozac affects male fathead curiously, suggests research at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Apparently, when the fish swim in contaminated with antidepressant drugs like Prozac waters become anxious, antisocial and sometimes homicidal.
male fingerlings in controlled studies that were exposed to very low doses of Prozac, ignored and females spent more time hiding, decreasing reproduction. These small fish also took longer to hunt and capture prey. When doses were increased, females produce fewer eggs and the males became aggressive, often killing females. Obviously, changes in reproduction – and avoids the dam -. You can have a devastating impact on fish stocks
populations most vulnerable fish appear to be those downstream of the treatment plant wastewater. Prescription drugs consistently show the highest levels in these areas compared to other waterways, reports Scientific American . So what does this mean for us?
The assessment of the risks to human health
In 2009, WHO He brought together experts in toxicology, water chemistry, water quality and health, water treatment, and pharmacology to form a “pharmaceuticals in drinking water” directive and politics. The quality committee, along with other experts examined the pharmaceuticals in the water and the risk to human health associated with pharmaceuticals in the drinking water.
Many surveys and studies confirm the presence of pharmaceuticals in municipal wastewater and effluents, according to WHO. However, according to WHO, studies in the US They have detected very low levels of prescription drugs in drinking water.
The problem is, one contaminant in drinking water can not be harmful, but when combined with other pollutants, the effect could be intensified, especially in children, the elderly or pregnant women.
There is a lack of comprehensive monitoring studies, systematic on pharmaceuticals in drinking water. Moreover, there is very little data available to assess potential risks to human health from exposure to trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water.
technology, water treatment
wastewater and process water treatment, according to WHO, are not specifically designed to remove products pharmacists – but may to some extent. Because pharmaceuticals are not “unusual” treatment plant chemicals that have controls in place to reduce the risks from exposure to pesticides can now be optimized to remove a percentage of drugs like Prozac water.
treatment facilities have generally typical wastewater activated sludge processes or other forms of biological treatment such as biofiltration. According to WHO, these processes have a very wide range for removing pharmaceuticals from less than 20 percent to over 90 percent. So your local treatment plant could actually fall anywhere between these percentages.
What can you do about it?
Proper disposal of drugs reduces the impact of pharmaceuticals in our water sources. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has developed the following guidelines to promote good practices for the disposal of unwanted drugs or excess.
Water is a precious commodity. Although we need water to survive, we also need a fresh, potable water source. Currently, WHO suggests that we are not at risk and that only small amounts of drugs such as Prozac actually do in our drinking water. But what does the future hold? Without regular studies on pharmaceuticals in drinking water, it is extremely difficult to assess our risks.
Nobody wants a dose of Prozac every time they drink a glass of water – even small amounts. Therefore, learn as much as you can about your tap water. Contact your local water supplier and ask for the annual report on water quality. This report indicates the levels of contaminants detected in the water and indicates how well these levels are compared to drinking water standards of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And if you decide to invest in a filtration system for your home, make sure the drive you intend to purchase addresses your concerns and is certified.
Katherine Marko is a freelance writer, author and creator of the blog. His areas of expertise include food, health, style, beauty, business and nutrition. Marko holds a Bachelor of Arts in English, a diploma in photography, graphic design and marketing, and certification in aesthetics.
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