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Drugs in Drinking Water: Lithium, Caffeine, DEET, Pharmacuticals, Codeine, Antibiotics, Hormones, Uranium, Radon ..
03-11-2008, 07:58 AM,
#1
AP probe finds drugs in drinking water
http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080309/ap_on_...s/pharmawater_i
<http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080309/ap_on_re_us/pharmawater_i>



AP probe finds drugs in drinking water


By JEFF DONN, MARTHA MENDOZA and JUSTIN PRITCHARD, Associated Press
Writers1 hour, 21 minutes ago

A vast array of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics,
anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found
in
the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an
Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny,
measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the
levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs - and over-the-counter
medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen - in so much of our drinking
water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences
to human health.

In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs
have
been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan
areas - from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit
to
Louisville, Ky.

Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings,
unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group
representing major California suppliers said the public "doesn't know
how to interpret the information" and might be unduly alarmed.

How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the
rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The
wastewater
is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes.
Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment
plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all
drug residue.

And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from
decades
of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of
pharmaceuticals, recent studies - which have gone virtually unnoticed
by
the general public - have found alarming effects on human cells and
wildlife.

"We recognize it is a growing concern and we're taking it very
seriously," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for
water
at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Members of the AP National Investigative Team reviewed hundreds of
scientific reports, analyzed federal drinking water databases, visited
environmental study sites and treatment plants and interviewed more
than
230 officials, academics and scientists. They also surveyed the
nation's
50 largest cities and a dozen other major water providers, as well as
smaller community water providers in all 50 states.

Here are some of the key test results obtained by the AP:

_Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56
pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including
medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy,
mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or
byproducts were found in the city's watersheds.

_Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion
of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern
California.

_Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley
Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000
people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine
and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.

_A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco's drinking water.

_The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested
positive for six pharmaceuticals.

_Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking
water supplied to Tucson, Ariz.

The situation is undoubtedly worse than suggested by the positive test
results in the major population centers documented by the AP.

The federal government doesn't require any testing and hasn't set
safety
limits for drugs in water. Of the 62 major water providers contacted,
the drinking water for only 28 was tested. Among the 34 that haven't:
Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston and New York City's
Department of Environmental Protection, which delivers water to 9
million people.

Some providers screen only for one or two pharmaceuticals, leaving open
the possibility that others are present.

The AP's investigation also indicates that watersheds, the natural
sources of most of the nation's water supply, also are contaminated.
Tests were conducted in the watersheds of 35 of the 62 major providers
surveyed by the AP, and pharmaceuticals were detected in 28.

Yet officials in six of those 28 metropolitan areas said they did not
go
on to test their drinking water - Fairfax, Va.; Montgomery County in
Maryland; Omaha, Neb.; Oklahoma City; Santa Clara, Calif., and New York
City.

The New York state health department and the USGS tested the source of
the city's water, upstate. They found trace concentrations of heart
medicine, infection fighters, estrogen, anti-convulsants, a mood
stabilizer and a tranquilizer.

City water officials declined repeated requests for an interview. In a
statement, they insisted that "New York City's drinking water continues
to meet all federal and state regulations regarding drinking water
quality in the watershed and the distribution system" - regulations
that
do not address trace pharmaceuticals.

In several cases, officials at municipal or regional water providers
told the AP that pharmaceuticals had not been detected, but the AP
obtained the results of tests conducted by independent researchers that
showed otherwise. For example, water department officials in New
Orleans
said their water had not been tested for pharmaceuticals, but a Tulane
University researcher and his students have published a study that
found
the pain reliever naproxen, the sex hormone estrone and the
anti-cholesterol drug byproduct clofibric acid in treated drinking
water.

Of the 28 major metropolitan areas where tests were performed on
drinking water supplies, only Albuquerque; Austin, Texas; and Virginia
Beach, Va.; said tests were negative. The drinking water in Dallas has
been tested, but officials are awaiting results. Arlington, Texas,
acknowledged that traces of a pharmaceutical were detected in its
drinking water but cited post-9/11 security concerns in refusing to
identify the drug.

The AP also contacted 52 small water providers - one in each state, and
two each in Missouri and Texas - that serve communities with
populations
around 25,000. All but one said their drinking water had not been
screened for pharmaceuticals; officials in Emporia, Kan., refused to
answer AP's questions, also citing post-9/11 issues.

Rural consumers who draw water from their own wells aren't in the clear
either, experts say.

The Stroud Water Research Center, in Avondale, Pa., has measured water
samples from New York City's upstate watershed for caffeine, a common
contaminant that scientists often look for as a possible signal for the
presence of other pharmaceuticals. Though more caffeine was detected at
suburban sites, researcher Anthony Aufdenkampe was struck by the
relatively high levels even in less populated areas.

He suspects it escapes from failed septic tanks, maybe with other
drugs.
"Septic systems are essentially small treatment plants that are
essentially unmanaged and therefore tend to fail," Aufdenkampe said.

Even users of bottled water and home filtration systems don't
necessarily avoid exposure. Bottlers, some of which simply repackage
tap
water, do not typically treat or test for pharmaceuticals, according to
the industry's main trade group. The same goes for the makers of home
filtration systems.

Contamination is not confined to the United States. More than 100
different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers,
reservoirs and streams throughout the world. Studies have detected
pharmaceuticals in waters throughout Asia, Australia, Canada and Europe
- even in Swiss lakes and the North Sea.

For example, in Canada, a study of 20 Ontario drinking water treatment
plants by a national research institute found nine different drugs in
water samples. Japanese health officials in December called for human
health impact studies after detecting prescription drugs in drinking
water at seven different sites.

In the United States, the problem isn't confined to surface waters.
Pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, source of 40
percent of the nation's water supply. Federal scientists who drew water
in 24 states from aquifers near contaminant sources such as landfills
and animal feed lots found minuscule levels of hormones, antibiotics
and
other drugs.

Perhaps it's because Americans have been taking drugs - and flushing
them unmetabolized or unused - in growing amounts. Over the past five
years, the number of U.S. prescriptions rose 12 percent to a record 3.7
billion, while nonprescription drug purchases held steady around 3.3
billion, according to IMS Health and The Nielsen Co.

"People think that if they take a medication, their body absorbs it and
it disappears, but of course that's not the case," said EPA scientist
Christian Daughton, one of the first to draw attention to the issue of
pharmaceuticals in water in the United States.

Some drugs, including widely used cholesterol fighters, tranquilizers
and anti-epileptic medications, resist modern drinking water and
wastewater treatment processes. Plus, the EPA says there are no sewage
treatment systems specifically engineered to remove pharmaceuticals.

One technology, reverse osmosis, removes virtually all pharmaceutical
contaminants but is very expensive for large-scale use and leaves
several gallons of polluted water for every one that is made drinkable.


Another issue: There's evidence that adding chlorine, a common process
in conventional drinking water treatment plants, makes some
pharmaceuticals more toxic.

Human waste isn't the only source of contamination. Cattle, for
example,
are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an
anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk
up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A
German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the
animals.

Water sampled downstream of a Nebraska feedlot had steroid levels four
times as high as the water taken upstream. Male fathead minnows living
in that downstream area had low testosterone levels and small heads.

Other veterinary drugs also play a role. Pets are now treated for
arthritis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, allergies, dementia, and
even obesity - sometimes with the same drugs as humans. The
inflation-adjusted value of veterinary drugs rose by 8 percent, to $5.2
billion, over the past five years, according to an analysis of data
from
the Animal Health Institute.

Ask the pharmaceutical industry whether the contamination of water
supplies is a problem, and officials will tell you no. "Based on what
we
now know, I would say we find there's little or no risk from
pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health," said
microbiologist
Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and
Manufacturers of America.

But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby - director of environmental
technology for drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. - said: "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."

Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication
have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human
breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the
kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological
activity associated with inflammation.

Also, pharmaceuticals in waterways are damaging wildlife across the
nation and around the globe, research shows. Notably, male fish are
being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually
restricted to females. Pharmaceuticals also are affecting sentinel
species at the foundation of the pyramid of life - such as earth worms
in the wild and zooplankton in the laboratory, studies show.

Some scientists stress that the research is extremely limited, and
there
are too many unknowns. They say, though, that the documented health
problems in wildlife are disconcerting.

"It brings a question to people's minds that if the fish were affected
... might there be a potential problem for humans?" EPA research
biologist Vickie Wilson told the AP. "It could be that the fish are
just
exquisitely sensitive because of their physiology or something. We
haven't gotten far enough along."

With limited research funds, said Shane Snyder, research and
development
project manager at the Southern Nevada Water Authority, a greater
emphasis should be put on studying the effects of drugs in water.

"I think it's a shame that so much money is going into monitoring to
figure out if these things are out there, and so little is being spent
on human health," said Snyder. "They need to just accept that these
things are everywhere - every chemical and pharmaceutical could be
there. It's time for the EPA to step up to the plate and make a
statement about the need to study effects, both human and
environmental."

To the degree that the EPA is focused on the issue, it appears to be
looking at detection. Grumbles acknowledged that just late last year
the
agency developed three new methods to "detect and quantify
pharmaceuticals" in wastewater. "We realize that we have a limited
amount of data on the concentrations," he said. "We're going to be able
to learn a lot more."

While Grumbles said the EPA had analyzed 287 pharmaceuticals for
possible inclusion on a draft list of candidates for regulation under
the Safe Drinking Water Act, he said only one, nitroglycerin, was on
the
list. Nitroglycerin can be used as a drug for heart problems, but the
key reason it's being considered is its widespread use in making
explosives.

So much is unknown. Many independent scientists are skeptical that
trace
concentrations will ultimately prove to be harmful to humans.
Confidence
about human safety is based largely on studies that poison lab animals
with much higher amounts.

There's growing concern in the scientific community, meanwhile, that
certain drugs - or combinations of drugs - may harm humans over decades
because water, unlike most specific foods, is consumed in sizable
amounts every day.

Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one-time dose, yet suffer
from
a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps
subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage. Pregnant women, the elderly
and the very ill might be more sensitive.

Many concerns about chronic low-level exposure focus on certain drug
classes: chemotherapy that can act as a powerful poison; hormones that
can hamper reproduction or development; medicines for depression and
epilepsy that can damage the brain or change behavior; antibiotics that
can allow human germs to mutate into more dangerous forms; pain
relievers and blood-pressure diuretics.

For several decades, federal environmental officials and nonprofit
watchdog environmental groups have focused on regulated contaminants -
pesticides, lead, PCBs - which are present in higher concentrations and
clearly pose a health risk.

However, some experts say medications may pose a unique danger because,
unlike most pollutants, they were crafted to act on the human body.

"These are chemicals that are designed to have very specific effects at
very low concentrations. That's what pharmaceuticals do. So when they
get out to the environment, it should not be a shock to people that
they
have effects," says zoologist John Sumpter at Brunel University in
London, who has studied trace hormones, heart medicine and other drugs.


And while drugs are tested to be safe for humans, the timeframe is
usually over a matter of months, not a lifetime. Pharmaceuticals also
can produce side effects and interact with other drugs at normal
medical
doses. That's why - aside from therapeutic doses of fluoride injected
into potable water supplies - pharmaceuticals are prescribed to people
who need them, not delivered to everyone in their drinking water.

"We know we are being exposed to other people's drugs through our
drinking water, and that can't be good," says Dr. David Carpenter, who
directs the Institute for Health and the Environment of the State
University of New York at Albany.

____

The AP National Investigative Team can be reached at investigate (at)
ap.org
Unite The Many, defeat the few.

Revolution is for the love of your people, culture, knowledge, wisdom, spirit, and peace. Not Greed!
Soul Rebel Native Son


http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=277...enous&hl=en
Reply
07-15-2008, 12:03 AM,
#2
AP probe finds drugs in drinking water
If they find any THC it is most likely from my urine.
Reply
09-19-2008, 12:16 PM,
#3
46 million drink drugged water
September 15, 2008

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 cited in a story last March that led officials in Chicago and other cities to analyze their drinking water.

In April, the Chicago Sun-Times reported results of its own water tests, which found trace levels of the insecticide DEET and caffeine in tap water.

In May, city officials announced they had found small amounts of gemfibrozil, a cholesterol medication, in both treated and untreated water. Also, carbamazepine, often prescribed to control seizures, was found in untreated water. City officials said the tiny amounts do not pose a health threat.

In all, the new tests found drug-contaminated drinking water in 17 cities nationwide. In addition to Chicago, those cities and the substances that were found included Aurora (gemfibrozil) and Elgin (carbamazepine, cotinine, gemfibrozil, monensin, nicotine).

The drug residues are generally flushed into sewers and waterways through human excretion.

AP

http://www.suntimes.comfestyles/health/...water15.article
“Everything Popular Is Wrong” - Oscar Wilde
Reply
04-21-2009, 06:10 AM,
#4
Tons of released drugs taint US water
Tons of released drugs taint US water
April 20th, 2009 By JEFF DONN, MARTHA MENDOZA and JUSTIN PRITCHARD , Associated Press Writers Enlarge
In this photo taken on Feb. 26, 2009, aeration basins are seen in operation at the Wilmington Wastewater Treatment Plant in Wilmington, Del. Scientists took samples from the Delaware River nearby and found elevated concentrations of the painkiller codeine that are prompting them to try and track the source of the drug; this treatment plant handles sewage from a nearby pharmaceutical factory that makes codeine. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

(AP) -- U.S. manufacturers, including major drugmakers, have legally released at least 271 million pounds of pharmaceuticals into waterways that often provide drinking water - contamination the federal government has consistently overlooked, according to an Associated Press investigation.

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Hundreds of active pharmaceutical ingredients are used in a variety of manufacturing, including drugmaking: For example, lithium is used to make ceramics and treat bipolar disorder; nitroglycerin is a heart drug and also used in explosives; copper shows up in everything from pipes to contraceptives.

Federal and industry officials say they don't know the extent to which pharmaceuticals are released by U.S. manufacturers because no one tracks them - as drugs. But a close analysis of 20 years of federal records found that, in fact, the government unintentionally keeps data on a few, allowing a glimpse of the pharmaceuticals coming from factories.

As part of its ongoing PharmaWater investigation about trace concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water, AP identified 22 compounds that show up on two lists: the EPA monitors them as industrial chemicals that are released into rivers, lakes and other bodies of water under federal pollution laws, while the Food and Drug Administration classifies them as active pharmaceutical ingredients.

The data don't show precisely how much of the 271 million pounds comes from drugmakers versus other manufacturers; also, the figure is a massive undercount because of the limited federal government tracking.

To date, drugmakers have dismissed the suggestion that their manufacturing contributes significantly to what's being found in water. Federal drug and water regulators agree.

But some researchers say the lack of required testing amounts to a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy about whether drugmakers are contributing to water pollution.

"It doesn't pass the straight-face test to say pharmaceutical manufacturers are not emitting any of the compounds they're creating," said Kyla Bennett, who spent 10 years as an EPA enforcement officer before becoming an ecologist and environmental attorney.

Pilot studies in the U.S. and abroad are now confirming those doubts.


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Last year, the AP reported that trace amounts of a wide range of pharmaceuticals - including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones - have been found in American drinking water supplies. Including recent findings in Dallas, Cleveland and Maryland's Prince George's and Montgomery counties, pharmaceuticals have been detected in the drinking water of at least 51 million Americans.

Most cities and water providers still do not test. Some scientists say that wherever researchers look, they will find pharma-tainted water.

Consumers are considered the biggest contributors to the contamination. We consume drugs, then excrete what our bodies don't absorb. Other times, we flush unused drugs down toilets. The AP also found that an estimated 250 million pounds of pharmaceuticals and contaminated packaging are thrown away each year by hospitals and long-term care facilities.

Researchers have found that even extremely diluted concentrations of drugs harm fish, frogs and other aquatic species. Also, researchers report that human cells fail to grow normally in the laboratory when exposed to trace concentrations of certain drugs. Some scientists say they are increasingly concerned that the consumption of combinations of many drugs, even in small amounts, could harm humans over decades.

Utilities say the water is safe. Scientists, doctors and the EPA say there are no confirmed human risks associated with consuming minute concentrations of drugs. But those experts also agree that dangers cannot be ruled out, especially given the emerging research.

---

Two common industrial chemicals that are also pharmaceuticals - the antiseptics phenol and hydrogen peroxide - account for 92 percent of the 271 million pounds identified as coming from drugmakers and other manufacturers. Both can be toxic and both are considered to be ubiquitous in the environment.

However, the list of 22 includes other troubling releases of chemicals that can be used to make drugs and other products: 8 million pounds of the skin bleaching cream hydroquinone, 3 million pounds of nicotine compounds that can be used in quit-smoking patches, 10,000 pounds of the antibiotic tetracycline hydrochloride. Others include treatments for head lice and worms.

Residues are often released into the environment when manufacturing equipment is cleaned.

A small fraction of pharmaceuticals also leach out of landfills where they are dumped. Pharmaceuticals released onto land include the chemo agent fluorouracil, the epilepsy medicine phenytoin and the sedative pentobarbital sodium. The overall amount may be considerable, given the volume of what has been buried - 572 million pounds of the 22 monitored drugs since 1988.

In one case, government data shows that in Columbus, Ohio, pharmaceutical maker Boehringer Ingelheim Roxane Inc. discharged an estimated 2,285 pounds of lithium carbonate - which is considered slightly toxic to aquatic invertebrates and freshwater fish - to a local wastewater treatment plant between 1995 and 2006. Company spokeswoman Marybeth C. McGuire said the pharmaceutical plant, which uses lithium to make drugs for bipolar disorder, has violated no laws or regulations. McGuire said all the lithium discharged, an annual average of 190 pounds, was lost when residues stuck to mixing equipment were washed down the drain.

---

Pharmaceutical company officials point out that active ingredients represent profits, so there's a huge incentive not to let any escape. They also say extremely strict manufacturing regulations - albeit aimed at other chemicals - help prevent leakage, and that whatever traces may get away are handled by onsite wastewater treatment.

"Manufacturers have to be in compliance with all relevant environmental laws," said Alan Goldhammer, a scientist and vice president at the industry trade group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

Goldhammer conceded some drug residues could be released in wastewater, but stressed "it would not cause any environmental issues because it was not a toxic substance at the level that it was being released at."

Several big drugmakers were asked this simple question: Have you tested wastewater from your plants to find out whether any active pharmaceuticals are escaping, and if so what have you found?

No drugmaker answered directly.

"Based on research that we have reviewed from the past 20 years, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are not a significant source of pharmaceuticals that contribute to environmental risk," GlaxoSmithKline said in a statement.

AstraZeneca spokeswoman Kate Klemas said the company's manufacturing processes "are designed to avoid, or otherwise minimize the loss of product to the environment" and thus "ensure that any residual losses of pharmaceuticals to the environment that do occur are at levels that would be unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the environment."

One major manufacturer, Pfizer Inc., acknowledged that it tested some of its wastewater - but outside the United States.

The company's director of hazard communication and environmental toxicology, Frank Mastrocco, said Pfizer has sampled effluent from some of its foreign drug factories. Without disclosing details, he said the results left Pfizer "confident that the current controls and processes in place at these facilities are adequately protective of human health and the environment."

It's not just the industry that isn't testing.

FDA spokesman Christopher Kelly noted that his agency is not responsible for what comes out on the waste end of drug factories. At the EPA, acting assistant administrator for water Mike Shapiro - whose agency's Web site says pharmaceutical releases from manufacturing are "well defined and controlled" - did not mention factories as a source of pharmaceutical pollution when asked by the AP how drugs get into drinking water.

"Pharmaceuticals get into water in many ways," he said in a written statement. "It's commonly believed the majority come from human and animal excretion. A portion also comes from flushing unused drugs down the toilet or drain; a practice EPA generally discourages."

His position echoes that of a line of federal drug and water regulators as well as drugmakers, who concluded in the 1990s - before highly sensitive tests now used had been developed - that manufacturing is not a meaningful source of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

Pharmaceutical makers typically are excused from having to submit an environmental review for new products, and the FDA has never rejected a drug application based on potential environmental impact. Also at play are pressures not to delay potentially lifesaving drugs. What's more, because the EPA hasn't concluded at what level, if any, pharmaceuticals are bad for the environment or harmful to people, drugmakers almost never have to report the release of pharmaceuticals they produce.

"The government could get a national snapshot of the water if they chose to," said Jennifer Sass, a senior scientist for the Natural Resources Defense Council, "and it seems logical that we would want to find out what's coming out of these plants."

Ajit Ghorpade, an environmental engineer who worked for several major pharmaceutical companies before his current job helping run a wastewater treatment plant, said drugmakers have no impetus to take measurements that the government doesn't require.

"Obviously nobody wants to spend the time or their dime to prove this," he said. "It's like asking me why I don't drive a hybrid car? Why should I? It's not required."

---

After contacting the nation's leading drugmakers and filing public records requests, the AP found two federal agencies that have tested.

Both the EPA and the U.S. Geological Survey have studies under way comparing sewage at treatment plants that receive wastewater from drugmaking factories against sewage at treatment plants that do not.

Preliminary USGS results, slated for publication later this year, show that treated wastewater from sewage plants serving drug factories had significantly more medicine residues. Data from the EPA study show a disproportionate concentration in wastewater of an antibiotic that a major Michigan factory was producing at the time the samples were taken.

Meanwhile, other researchers recorded concentrations of codeine in the southern reaches of the Delaware River that were at least 10 times higher than the rest of the river.

The scientists from the Delaware River Basin Commission won't have to look far when they try to track down potential sources later this year. One mile from the sampling site, just off shore of Pennsville, N.J., there's a pipe that spits out treated wastewater from a municipal plant. The plant accepts sewage from a pharmaceutical factory owned by Siegfried Ltd. The factory makes codeine.

"We have implemented programs to not only reduce the volume of waste materials generated but to minimize the amount of pharmaceutical ingredients in the water," said Siegfried spokeswoman Rita van Eck.

Another codeine plant, run by Johnson & Johnson subsidiary Noramco Inc., is about seven miles away. A Noramco spokesman acknowledged that the Wilmington, Del., factory had voluntarily tested its wastewater and found codeine in trace concentrations thousands of times greater than what was found in the Delaware River. "The amounts of codeine we measured in the wastewater, prior to releasing it to the City of Wilmington, are not considered to be hazardous to the environment," said a company spokesman.

In another instance, equipment-cleaning water sent down the drain of an Upsher-Smith Laboratories, Inc. factory in Denver consistently contains traces of warfarin, a blood thinner, according to results obtained under a public records act request. Officials at the company and the Denver Metro Wastewater Reclamation District said they believe the concentrations are safe.

Warfarin, which also is a common rat poison and pesticide, is so effective at inhibiting growth of aquatic plants and animals it's actually deliberately introduced to clean plants and tiny aquatic animals from ballast water of ships.

"With regard to wastewater management we are subject to a variety of federal, state and local regulation and oversight," said Joel Green, Upsher-Smith's vice president and general counsel. "And we work hard to maintain systems to promote compliance."

Baylor University professor Bryan Brooks, who has published more than a dozen studies related to pharmaceuticals in the environment, said assurances that drugmakers run clean shops are not enough.

"I have no reason to believe them or not believe them," he said. "We don't have peer-reviewed studies to support or not support their claims."

---

The AP National Investigative Team can be reached at investigate (at) ap.org
http://www.physorg.com/news159425418.html
Reply
05-01-2009, 01:42 PM,
#5
Lithium in water 'curbs suicide'
Lithium in water 'curbs suicide'

Drinking water which contains the element lithium may reduce the risk of suicide, a Japanese study suggests.

Researchers examined levels of lithium in drinking water and suicide rates in the prefecture of Oita, which has a population of more than one million.

The suicide rate was significantly lower in those areas with the highest levels of the element, they wrote in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

High doses of lithium are already used to treat serious mood disorders.

But the team from the universities of Oita and Hiroshima found that even relatively low levels appeared to have a positive impact of suicide rates.

Levels ranged from 0.7 to 59 micrograms per litre. The researchers speculated that while these levels were low, there may be a cumulative protective effect on the brain from years of drinking this tap water.

Added element

At least one previous study has suggested an association between lithium in tap water and suicide. That research on data collected from the 1980s also found a significantly lower rate of suicide in areas with relatively high lithium levels.

The Japanese researchers called for further research in other countries but they stopped short of any suggestion that lithium be added to drinking water.

The discussion around adding fluoride to water to protect dental health has proved controversial - criticised by some as mass involuntary medication.

In an accompanying editorial, Professor Allan Young of Vancouver's Institute for Mental Health said "this intriguing data should provoke further research.

"Large-scale trials involving the addition of lithium to drinking water supplies may then be feasible, although this would undoubtedly be subject to considerable debate. Following up on these findings will not be straightforward or inexpensive, but the eventual benefits for community mental health may be considerable."

Sophie Corlett, external relations director at mental health charity Mind said the research "certainly merits more investigation.

"We already know that lithium can act as a powerful mood stabiliser for people with bipolar disorder, and treating people with lithium is also associated with lower suicide rates.

"However, lithium also has significant and an unpleasant side effects in higher doses, and can be toxic. Any suggestion that it should be added, even in tiny amounts, to drinking water should be treated with caution and researched very thoroughly."

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/8025454.stm
“Everything Popular Is Wrong” - Oscar Wilde
Reply
05-01-2009, 03:08 PM,
#6
Lithium in water 'curbs suicide'
Guess what, huge amounts of rat poison in the water greatly reduces suicide too! I mean, think about it for a minute. Everything that kills people reduces suicide rates, right?

Quote:Any suggestion that it should be added, even in tiny amounts, to drinking water should be treated with caution and researched very thoroughly

No, any suggestion it should be added to drinking water is INSANE and should be dismissed OUT OF HAND, Miss Corlett. How can somebody this insane work at a charity FOR MENTAL HEALTH?

:msnslap:
Reply
05-02-2009, 06:46 AM,
#7
Lithium in water 'curbs suicide'
You know, this idea is so stupid it will probably become a reality.
Reply
01-11-2011, 11:52 PM,
#8
Proposal to add lithium to public water supply.

http://bigthink.com/ideas/21538

Drug Our Drinking Water





Adding trace amounts of lithium to the drinking water could limit suicides. Two studies, a recent one in Japan and an older one in Texas, have shown that this naturally occurring substance, used as a psychotropic drug to combat bipolar disorder, could have beneficial effects for society: Communities with higher than average amounts of lithium in their drinking water had significantly lower suicide rates than communities with lower levels. Regions of Texas with lower lithium concentrations had an average suicide rate of 14.2 per 100,000 people, whereas those areas with naturally higher lithium levels had a dramatically lower suicide rate of 8.7 per 100,000.

The highest levels in Texas (150 micrograms of lithium per liter of water) are only a thousandth of the minimum pharmaceutical dose, and have no known deleterious effects. If further studies continue to uncover no harmful side effects, bioethicist Jacob Appel believes that Washington should fortify all of our drinking water with lithium.



This wouldn't be the first time that the US government has spiked our drinking water. The government began adding fluoride to our water in the 1940s to fight tooth decay, and it has been hailed as a great public health achievement (saving more than $38 in dental bills for every $1 spent on fluoridation). Lithium, a psychotropic drug used to level out the manic and depressive swings associated with bipolar disorder, could do for suicide what fluoride did for cavities.

"We are not talking about adding therapeutic levels of lithium to the drinking water," Appel tells Big Think. "If you wanted to get a therapeutic level from the trace amounts that currently exist in the areas where there is already lithium, you would have to drink several Olympic size swimming pools. So the reality is, these are very low levels, and there’s no reason to think they are not safe in the areas they already exist, so why not give everybody that benefit?"

And if people don't want to take part, Appel argues, they can always opt out by drinking bottled water: "If the vast majority of people gain health benefits from fortifying the public water, and particularly if these benefits are life-saving, then there is nothing unreasonable about placing the burden not to drink upon the resistant minority," Appel wrote in The Huffington Post. "One person's right to drink lithium-free water is no greater than another's right to drink lithium-enhanced water. As long as the negative consequences or inconveniences are relatively minor, water fortification seems to be one of those cases where the majority's preference and interest should prevail."

Takeaway

Over 34,000 people in the US commit suicide each year, making it the fourth leading cause of death among Americans aged 18 to 65. If lithium were added to all US drinking water—and the effect were the same as in Texas's highest-lithium regions—the national suicide rate would drop to 20,831, saving over 13,000 lives.
Why We Should Reject This

Lithium is a much more powerful substance than fluoride, with far greater potential side effects. Critics say that drugging the water is a massive infringement and equate this use of pharmaceuticals to something out of Aldous Huxley’s dystopic classic “Brave New World.”

Robert Carton, a former senior scientist for the EPA, argues that the government's fortifying drinking water with any substance, even fluoride, violates people's fundamental right—codified in the Nuremburg Code—to give informed consent to any medical intervention. “All ethical codes for the protection of individuals who are subject to medical procedures," Carton wrote in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, "whether research or routine medical treatment, endorse the basic requirement for voluntary informed consent.”



Don't believe anything they say.
And at the same time,
Don't believe that they say anything without a reason.
---Immanuel Kant
Reply
01-19-2011, 12:43 PM,
#9
RE: Drugs in Drinking Water: Lithium, Caffeine, DEET, Pharmacuticals, Codeine, Antibiotics, Hormones, Uranium, Radon ..
FYI: ~5 orphan threads merged. Others aggregated below.

Fluoride may be the hot topic but it detracts from a much larger debate. Let's start with lithium.

This is not intended to fearmonger as the AP article may have been spun towards whipping up tension and chaos. only to inform and intelligently mobilize people in drawing a line in hopes of encouraging alternatives to the tyranny of the corporate/government tit that claims to act for the greater good. It starts by refusing to give them our individual and thus, our collective power.

Quote:#1: Drug Our Drinking Water
Max Miller on August 2, 2010, 12:00 AM

Communities with higher than average amounts of lithium in their drinking water had significantly lower suicide rates than communities with lower levels. Regions of Texas with lower lithium concentrations had an average suicide rate of 14.2 per 100,000 people, whereas those areas with naturally higher lithium levels had a dramatically lower suicide rate of 8.7 per 100,000.

The highest levels in Texas (150 micrograms of lithium per liter of water) are only a thousandth of the minimum pharmaceutical dose, and have no known deleterious effects.

Takeaway

Over 34,000 people in the US commit suicide each year, making it the fourth leading cause of death among Americans aged 18 to 65. If lithium were added to all US drinking water—and the effect were the same as in Texas's highest-lithium regions—the national suicide rate would drop to 20,831, saving over 13,000 lives.

Why We Should Reject This

Lithium is a much more powerful substance than fluoride, with far greater potential side effects. Critics say that drugging the water is a massive infringement and equate this use of pharmaceuticals to something out of Aldous Huxley’s dystopic classic “Brave New World.”

Robert Carton, a former senior scientist for the EPA, argues that the government's fortifying drinking water with any substance, even fluoride, violates people's fundamental right—codified in the Nuremburg Code—to give informed consent to any medical intervention. “All ethical codes for the protection of individuals who are subject to medical procedures," Carton wrote in the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, "whether research or routine medical treatment, endorse the basic requirement for voluntary informed consent.”

More Resources

—2009 Japanese study, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

—1990 Texas study, published in Biological Trace Elements Research Journal.

—2003 article [PDF] from the International Journal of Occupational and Environmental Health, co-authored by Robert Carton, arguing against fluoridation.

Part II of out discussion about drugging the drinking water can be found at Death by Cruise Ship, Lithium, and Suicide.
Digg It: http://digg.com/news/story/1_Drug_Our_Drinking_Water_Dangerous_Ideas_Big_Think
Full Article: http://bigthink.com/ideas/21538 + Embedded Video Clip

Research lead: Jacob Appel is referenced as the primary advocate (citing the common greater good for the majority) for adding lithium to the drinking water via federal mandate to reduce suicide. He says that people can always opt out by drinking bottled water so it's voluntary. UN Agenda 21 initiatives stealthily installed on local and state levels strip landowners' water rights and even threaten to prohibit the harvest and utilization of rainwater even. Denver had done this already in the past I recall, perhaps to 'test the waters' of public dissent. Lithium should quell that.

His opponent is psychiatric genetics researcher Jenny Listman

Quote:Bioethicist Jacob Appel cited two studies showing that the suicide rate was dramatically lower in places where the level of lithium in the water supply was naturally higher. In lower lithium areas in one of the studies, a third more people killed themselves. And so Appel concluded that Washington, in the interest of saving 13,000 lives across the country, should perhaps spike all of our drinking water with lithium.

Listman reviewed the two studies that Appel cited, and found methodological problems with the research. (You can read Listman's full analysis in the comment stream here.) She also cited work showing that in areas of high rainwater, lithium levels in drinking water were lower—presumably rain dilutes the lithium—and that suicide rates were higher in areas with heavy rain and lower where it's sunny. In other words, it may be bad weather—not lithium—that's causally related to suicide. Rather than drugging our drinking water, Washington might try to serve up a little more sunshine.
Full Article Death by Cruise Ship, Lithium, and Suicide
Paul Hoffman on August 7, 2010, 6:19 PM
http://bigthink.com/ideas/21709

Freedom Advocates
Protect from Federal Regulation and Agenda 21 Sustainable Development Land Grabs on a local grassroots level.
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=32046

Related:

The Casualties of Toxic Warfare
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=30611

Ocean Water Pollution: Not Just for the BP and Other Oil Companies (Infographic)
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=34290

California Bond Opens Door to Corporate Control of Water
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=30879

The Weaponisation of Culture –– Food & Water
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=34558

What of the explosion of lithium batteries would they oxidize to the air to subdue and pacify the public (cellphones?)? What of the disposal recycled batteries aren't always disposed of properly. What of lithium in pharmacutical and/or industrial waste? Can this be filtered out? How does one detoxify lithium in the body?
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
05-13-2011, 02:14 PM,
#10
Information  RE: Drugs in Drinking Water: Lithium, Caffeine, DEET, Pharmacuticals, Codeine, Antibiotics, Hormones, Uranium, Radon ..
Quote:EPA Scientists in Washington D.C. are now calling for an immediate halt to water fluoridation programs in the U.S. as well as a Congressional Investigation into fluoride’s adverse effects, listing “thyroid pathology” among their top concerns…

http://www.nteu280.org/Issues/Fluoride/flouridestatement.htm

http://www.nteu280.org/Issues/Fluoride/Press%20Release.%20Fluoride.htm
~via Facebook

RE: Now all that needs to be done is to get rid of the other 30-50** chemical s and hormones. How about taking estrogen and chlorine out of our drinking water supply now.

I'd dig a well (spring fed is best) but that's illegal in my municipality.

**30-50 chemicals are tracked regularly at lest for me locally. The others such as estrogen and many pharmacuticals that are pissed in are not.

Q. Did you have a full listing of the 10,000+ kicking around somewhere? If so do share it with us please.

Quote:A. The CDC performed a study on 2500 random people in the US in 2009 and tested for 239 chemicals. Six of those chemicals, highly toxic substances, were found in the blood of 90% of those tested and they were at alarming levels. Bisphenol A, dioxins, furans, PCBs, and organochlorine pesticides were included. A chemical banned years ago used in the petroleum refining industry to make unleaded gasoline was found in almost everyone.

That report, which you can find on the internet and which is a complex report, is titled, "Fourth National Report On Human Exposure To Environmental Chemicals".

There's a web site maintained by "Agency For Toxic Substances And Disease Registry" maintained by the CDC that contains many of these chemicals, most with names wholly unfamiliar to most people.

http://www.atsdr.cdc.gov/

The United States National Library Of Medicine maintains a web site called Toxmap that also has chemicals listed.

http://www.nlm.nih.gov/pubs/factsheets/toxmap.html

Here's an extensive alphabetical list of allowable food additives maintained by the FDA that will surely surprise you. This includes chemicals allowed in packaging some of which do leach into foods.

http://www.fda.gov/Food/FoodIngredientsPackaging/FoodAdditives/FoodAdditiveListings/ucm091048.htm

Here's a list of allowable color additives for food and cosmetics, soaps and shampoos, colognes, etc., that will also surely surprise you.

http://www.fda.gov/forindustry/coloradditives/coloradditiveinventories/ucm115641.htm

There are over 10,000 known man-made chemicals. In the US right around 100 are regulated, the rest are not. Because the UK has a more representative political system (most people don't know this) they regulate about 1,000 of these chemicals.

As an example, many food colorings are banned in the UK and many GM crops are also banned. Still, both the US and UK do a very poor job of protecting citizens from life-long chemical exposure.
~ via Facebook PM (Jeff P.)

RE: Thanks for the links and for your time in explaining a dire need to get this out there, but what we need more is a solution.

Regulation is a slippery slope (See Canada's Bill C-36) but the only other solution I can fathom now is getting the information out and having people act upon it.

C-36 used BPA (not in infant bottles anymore) to put it over the top in getting it passed.

I'll dig into the reports -- A 2500 person study is significant but I'm hoping to see diverse demographics and geography put forth.

National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals
http://www.cdc.gov/exposurereport/data_tables/

Good fluoride discussion, info and some misinfo on topic debunked here:

Fluoride and Aspartame
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=30061

Are There Ways to Remove Fluoride?
http://concen.org/forum/showthread.php?tid=39333
There are no others, there is only us.
http://FastTadpole.com/
Reply
06-16-2012, 12:42 AM,
#11
RE: Drugs in Drinking Water: Lithium, Caffeine, DEET, Pharmacuticals, Codeine, Antibiotics, Hormones, Uranium, Radon ..
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.
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