Pharmaceuticals in Indiana Streams
Reported by: Marchelle McConnell FOX Fort Wayne News @ 10
Monday, Oct 19, 2009 @07:50pm
The study by Ball State University took place over the past year. Ball state researchers found pharmaceuticals in 10 streams in the Upper White River watershed. Abigail Frost is a clean water activist in Fort Wayne, and Founder of the Save Maumee Organization. She says she’s not surprised by the study, because she’s known of the problem for years. “I was really bothered by in 2008 when the first study came out.”
The study by Ball State says 300 different pharmaceutical drugs are passed into fresh water through human waste. Water filtration plants are not eliminating them before they reach our drinking water. But that’s not the only way drugs are getting into streams. Frost says “A year ago if you were to call one of the pharmacies, they would tell you to flush medications down the toilet to get rid of them. But that’s been improved because now they will tell you to bring it to a sheriff’s office to get rid of it.”
So what was found in these streams? The mood-altering drug lithium, dimethylxanthine, a byproduct of caffeine, cotinine, a byproduct of nicotine, and acetaminophen. Frost says she doesn’t know how this problem will be solved. She encourages people not to flush old medicines down the toilet. Scientists don’t know how traces of pharmaceuticals could impact us. Ball state researchers say pharmaceuticals pose potential health risks to both humans and fresh water animals.