Friday, March 7, 2008

Something in the Water

Don't drink the water. At least that is what scientists are starting to say.

Traces of over the counter drugs are turning up in drinking water.

How you ask? A fraction of every dose passes through the human body unmetabolized. The waste product exits the body into the sewer. The sewer water is treated at a plant but even plant officials say the water is only tested for familiar chemicals and toxins, not things like naproxen, Ibuprofen or other sedatives.

The problem is there is not much scientific evidence on the long-term effects of exposure to the drugs in this form.

But scientists say just because there is not enough research to know how if will affect humans, doesn't mean there is not a problem.

Research done on wildlife has found results somewhat unsettling. Pharmaceuticals in river and lake water are being blamed for “feminized” male fish and other changes observed in earthworms and zoo plankton.

Scientists are conducting further research to try to determine it is harmful to humans.