Friday, September 12, 2008
Drugs in drinking water affect more Americans than previously thought
Testing prompted by an Associated Press story that revealed trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water supplies has shown that more Americans are affected by the problem than previously thought - at least 46 million. That's up from 41 million people reported by the AP in March as part of an investigation into the presence of pharmaceuticals in the nation's waterways. Officials in one of those communities, Colorado Springs, say they detected five pharmaceuticals in all, including a tranquilizer and a hormone. The drug residues detected in water supplies are generally flushed into sewers and waterways through human excretion. Many of the pharmaceuticals are known to slip through sewage and drinking water treatment plants.