The sheer number of Americans taking drugs is one reason drugs in the water are a problem - 60% of Americans now take prescription drugs
When it comes to pharmaceuticals in the water supply, both drug industry and water treatment professionals say traces 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.
"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," noted Mary Buzby, director of environmental technology for Merck.
And the problem has only grown worse . . .
By 2008, the Associated Press reported that 46 million Americans were drinking water containing psychiatric, cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, heart and pain drugs as well as antibiotics.
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