Disgusting- RX Drugs in our drinking water

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Is American Drinking Water Safe?  

Recently, there was an article done on our American drinking water supplies containing a wide variety of pharmaceutical drugs, caffeine, sex hormone and other prescription medicines that American’s routinely ingest.  

Read the Full Article below:



As an obsessive water drinker and concerned Mom, this article made me concerned.

The Question: How do PPCP’s Get in our drinking water-making it unsafe?

The Answer:

1.    Through human waste, when the medication passes out of our bodies into the sewer lines.

2.    When all of our shampoos, conditioners, body wash, hair colors, and other personal care products are washed down the shower drain they enter the sewer line

3.    Discarded or expired medications thrown away in the trash.

4.    Poor Manufacturing practices from Cosmetic manufacturers

And that there are many types of drugs to be concerned about,

Read below from a list from the EPA’s site: 

There are many drug classes of concern:

  •  antibiotics which are actively being researched
  • antimicrobials
  • estrogenic steroids
  • antidepressants. Profound effects on spawning and other behaviors in shellfish can occur with antidepressant selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs).
  • calcium-channel blockers. Dramatic inhibition of sperm activity in certain aquatic organisms can be effected by calcium-channel blockers.
  • antiepileptic drugs (e.g., phenytoin, valproate, carbamazepine) have potential as human neuroteratogens, triggering extensive apoptosis in the developing brain, leading to neurodegeneration.
  • multi-drug transporters (efflux pumps). Possible significance of efflux pump inhibitors (EPIs) in compromising aquatic health.
  • musk fragrances are bioaccumulative and persistent
  • genotoxic drugs (primarily used at hospitals)

The EPA states that our Sewage systems are not equipped to remove the PPCP’s ( see below for definition) drugs from our water.

  • Sewage systems are not equipped for PPCP removal. Currently, there are no municipal sewage treatment plants that are engineered specifically for PPCP removal or for other unregulated contaminants. Effective removal of PPCPs from treatment plants varies based on the type of chemical and on the individual sewage treatment facilities.

What are “PPCPs”?

As Defined by the EPA A PPCPs is “ Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs) refers, in general, to any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons or used by agribusiness to enhance growth or health of livestock. PPCPs comprise a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances, including prescription and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, veterinary drugs, fragrances, lotions, and cosmetics” http://epa.gov/ppcp/faq.html#define

What Can we do to ensure the safety of our Drinking water?  

  1. Proper disposal of Prescription drugs.  The US govt put out a fact sheet on how to properly dispose of RX drugs.  Read it and apply the steps.


  1. Be aware of the type of Personal Care products that you are using, shampoos, conditioner, etc. Make sure that they contain paraben free, sulfate free ingredients.  It stinks, but read the label.


  1. Check out the Safety of your Local drinking water here


  1. Use filter water whenever possible, if it’s more feasible buy the Corn water bottles with filters so that when you fill up at a water filter at least it’s safer.
  2. Oh, yeah and use less prescription medicine if possible J

 Let’s work together to ensure safe drinking water! ~ Melody


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