When we asked writer Martha Rosenberg to wade into the issue of drugs in our drinking water, we weren’t sure what she’d find out. Turns out, it isn’t pretty. Thanks to the chemical, agricultural and pharmaceutical industries, and America’s antiquated water systems, you may be imbibing a witch’s brew of drugs and chemicals. And you don’t even realize it. How do all those chemicals get in your water? Via human drug waste in sewage, medicines flushed down toilets, agricultural runoff and the wide use of endocrine disruptors like pesticides, flame retardants and plastic-related compounds like phthalates and BPA. Naturally, both the drug industry and water treatment “experts” say traces of toxic chemicals are so small they “probably pose no public health risk.” Yet they also admit that testing has begun so recently that no one really knows the long-term effects.
From Mary Buzby, director of environmental technology for that beyond-reproach pharmaceutical giant, Merck:
“There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms.”
We suggest all those folks who continue to tell us not to worry our pretty little heads read “The Myths of Safe Pesticides,” a book that outlines why no amount of toxic chemicals, including and especially tiny amounts, are “safe.”