(Part 4) (VI) (DM) PHARMAWATER-WATERSHEDS: AP investigation details pharmaceuticals found in watersheds of 28 major metro areas / PHARMAWATER-METABOLISM: The ins and outs of drug metabolism
Keep in mind that this study is probably 10 to 12 years old. No doubt very little has been done to fix this problem since this study was done. Instead, we got a media blackout of just how bad the problem is. Some people are now taking as many as 10 different medications. Therefore, the pharmawater is probably far worse than what this report documents. There will be three more parts to this investigation. âMrT.
PHARMAWATER-WATERSHEDS: AP investigation details pharmaceuticals found in watersheds of 28 major metro areas
At least one pharmaceutical or byproduct was detected in testing within the watersheds of 28 major metropolitan areas, according to an Associated Press survey of 62 major water providers and data obtained from independent researchers.
Test protocols varied widely. Some researchers tested for more drugs than others. Thirty-five areas said they tested. Four said tests were negative and three said they were awaiting results. Twenty-seven locations said they had not tested watershed supplies.
Here’s the list of the 28 areas with pharmaceuticals detected, with the number found and some examples.
- Arlington, Texas: 5 (unspecified drugs)
- Atlanta: 10 (including caffeine, sulfamethoxazole, diltiazem, acetaminophen, trimethoprim, cotinine and paraxanthine)
- Cincinnati: 4 (gemfibrozil, ibuprofen, sulfamethaxazole and ethinyl estradiol)
- Columbus, Ohio: 15 (including azithromycin, erythromycin, roxithromycin, tylosin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin and caffeine)
- Concord, Calif.: (unspecified drugs)
- Denver: (unspecified antibiotics)
- Detroit: (unspecified total; including carbamazepine, caffeine, cotinine)
- Fairfax, Va.: 8 (erythromycin, lincomycin, trimethoprim, tylosin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin and sulfamethoxazole)
- Indianapolis: 2 (caffeine and cotinine)
- Las Vegas: 9 (including sulfamethoxazole, atenolol, trimethoprim, meprobamate, phenytoin, carbamazepine and gemfibrozil)
- Long Beach, Calif.: 9 (unspecified drugs)
- Los Angeles: 9 (unspecified drugs)
- Louisville, Ky.: 2 (ibuprofen and naproxen)
- Milwaukee: 1 (cotinine)
- Minneapolis: 3 (acetaminophen, caffeine and cotinine)
- New York City: 16 (including atenolol, trimethoprim, carbamazepine, ibuprofen, estrogen, acetaminophen and diazepam)
- Northern New Jersey: 13 (including acetaminophen, carbamazepine, codeine, dehydronifedipine, erythromycin, lincomycin and sulfadimethoxine)
- Oklahoma City: 12 (including acetaminophen, fluoxetine, gemfibrozil, ibuprofen, iopromide, sulfamethoxazole and iopromide)
- Omaha, Neb.: 2 (caffeine and sulfamethoxazole)
- Philadelphia: 63 (including amoxicillin, aspirin, atorvastatin, bacitracin, diclofenac, phenytoin and fluoxetine)
- Prince George’s-Montgomery counties, Md.: 3 (caffeine, carbamazepine and cotinine)
- Riverside County, Calif.: 9 (unspecified drugs)
- San Diego: 12 (clofibrate, clofibric acid, ibuprofen and nine unspecified)
- San Francisco: 1 (estrone)
- Santa Clara, Calif.: (unspecified drugs)
- Southern California: 9 (including atenolol, phenytoin, fluoxetine, gemfibrozil, meprobamate, naproxen and trimethoprim)
- Virginia Beach, Va.: 4 (fluoxetine, estradiol, acetaminophen and ibuprofen)
- Washington, D.C.: 5 (monensin, ibuprofen, caffeine, carbamazepine and sulfamethoxazole)
PHARMAWATER-METABOLISM: The ins and outs of drug metabolism
By The Associated Press
A furnace can’t burn a whole lump of coal; some is wasted. Your body can’t use all the medicine you take either; some is excreted.
How much of a drug passes through the body depends on the particular medicine.
Some drugs are very efficient performers, according to data collected by chemist James Shine at the Harvard School of Public Health. The body metabolizes, or uses up, more than 80 percent of the pain reliever acetaminophen and the antidepressant fluoxetine. These metabolized portions are used by the body to make you feel better.
Other drugs are harder to metabolize, but at least half is used. That’s true of the antibiotic ciprofloxacin and of digoxin for heart problems.
Yet other drugs, like metformin for diabetes and atenolol for high blood pressure, are not metabolized as much, and at least 80 percent of those pills end up in the toilet.
Once waterborne, the remains of pharmaceuticals find their way into sewers and streams and eventually into drinking water.
The concentration of a particular drug in water supplies also is determined by how much is taken and how readily the specific drug breaks down in the environment.