The Pharmaceuticals in Your Drinking WaterOctober 7, 2014
If you haven’t already heard, there is a certain category of pollutant that’s seeping into our water supplies in North America and it’s starting to get some attention. These pollutants are pharmaceuticals, and they’re in the drinking water of at least 41 million Americans.
As a private label bottled water manufacturer, we at Azure Water want to keep our readers abreast of important drinking water news. Multiple recent studies have shown a concern over traces of pharmaceuticals found in our nation’s water supply.
How Do Pharmaceuticals Get in the Water?
Pharmaceuticals end up in our water supply from several sources. Most commonly, people take the drugs, absorb what their body needs, and then expel excess medication in their waste. There are also those that flush unwanted medication rather than throwing it in the garbage. Even though wastewater is treated before being released into reservoirs, rivers or lakes, most treatment plants do not have thorough enough treatment methods to remove all the pharmaceuticals.
A study by the Associated Press found a shocking number of pharmaceuticals in treated drinking water: 56 to be precise. These included medications for pain, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness, birth control and more. And with an aging baby boomer population, drug consumption is on the rise. Each year the amount of pharmaceuticals consumed goes up between 10 and 15 percent, meaning we can expect the problem to only get worse.
Possible Warning Signs
Scientists have already proven over the last decade that pharmaceuticals leeched into our water supplies have a negative effect on the fish in these areas. Hormonal drugs are causing male fish to develop eggs in their testes, while psychiatric drugs are causing changes in their behavior.
Since the amount of each pharmaceutical found in these water supplies is relatively minute, their current effect on humans is unknown. But these environmental changes should be the warning sign that make us look much closer at what’s going on.
What’s Being Done to Fix the Issue
Unfortunately, little research can be found on the health effects pharmaceuticals in our drinking supplies have on humans. Subsequently, a lack of research also means very little is being done to keep more pharmaceuticals from entering our water supply.
The problem is that people are only looking at consequences in the short term. While immediate changes might not be apparent from the small amounts of pharmaceuticals in a single serving of drinking water, nothing is being done to study their effect over time. No one knows the damage that could be caused by this chemical cocktail consumed over a lifetime.
At Azure Water, we care about the quality of drinking water. That’s why we send our water through a rigorous purification process to ensure that you receive the purest water possible. Explore our site or give us a call to hear more about our water and custom label bottled water. You can also reach us on our contact form or any of our social channels!