Health Policy & Advocacy
Resources
Basic InformationMore InformationLatest News
U.S. Gun Violence Rates Jumped 30% During PandemicMandates, Not Recommendations, Work Best to Get Folks Vaccinated: StudyU.S. Has Shared 200 Million Shots With Other CountriesLittle Change Seen in Americans' Use of Mental Health Services During PandemicWomen Doctors Face Higher Levels of Harassment, Frustration: SurveyEPA Plans New Strategy Against PFAS 'Forever Chemicals'State Spending on Poverty Really Pays Off for Kids: StudyState Lotteries Didn't Help Boost Vaccination RatesVaccinated Foreign Travelers Can Enter United States Beginning Nov. 8Despite Pressures of Pandemic, U.S. Nursing School Enrollment ClimbsBiden Administration to Invest $100 Million to Ease Health Worker ShortageFDA Warns Against Using At-Home Dermal Filler 'Pens'Death Threats, Trolling Common for Scientists Who Speak to Media About COVID'Extreme Heat' Days Have Tripled Since 1980s, and More Are ComingAHA News: Are Monolingual Spanish Speakers More at Risk in the Pandemic?Your Free Cancer Screen Shows Trouble: What If You Can't Afford the Follow-Up?Bystanders Can Make the Difference for a Drowning ChildClimate Change is World's Most Pressing Health Problem: WHOAHA News: Another Barrier for Black and Hispanic People: Good Mental Health CareU.S. to Buy $1 Billion Worth of Rapid COVID TestsNearly 200,000 COVID Home Tests Recalled Over False PositivesMedical Mistrust Fuels Vaccine Hesitancy Among HispanicsAmericans Divided on Biden's Vaccine Mandate, Poll FindsAir Pollution Linked to 6 Million Premature Births in 1 YearDelay in Graphic Warning Labels on Cigarettes Cost Lives: StudyAHA News: Women May Be More Willing Than Men to Donate OrgansEPA to Sharply Limit Refrigerant Production in New Climate RuleAHA News: Food Insecurity's Long-Term Health ConsequencesU.S. to Buy 500 Million More COVID Vaccine Doses for Global DonationNIH Spending Nearly $470 Million on Long-Haul COVID StudyCOVAX Cuts Global COVID Vaccine Supply Estimates By a QuarterFDA Bans Sale of Nearly a Million E-Cigarettes; Allows Juul to Remain on MarketMore Affordable Housing, Healthier Hearts?Biden to Strengthen Push for Vaccine Mandates in New COVID PlanU.S. COVID Vaccination Rates Climb in AugustGreener Neighborhoods Bring Healthier Hearts, Study ShowsU.S. to Be Removed From E.U. Safe Travel ListFDA Tells Three Small E-Cigarette Makers to Stop Selling Flavored ProductsFratelli Beretta Antipasto Trays Are the Source of Salmonella Outbreak: CDCHow Your Medicines Make Their Way Into Rivers, Lakes and BaysFamily Behind Oxycontin Denies Any Responsibility for Opioid CrisisCommon Pesticide to Be Banned Over Links to  Problems in ChildrenFar Too Few People of Color in U.S. Pancreatic Cancer TrialsRace-Based Disparities in Americans' Health Haven't Improved: StudyChild Injuries, Deaths Spur Recall of 10 Million Magnet Balls, CubesAmericans Have High Trust in Health Care Providers: PollBreaded, Raw Chicken Recalled in Multi-State Salmonella OutbreakU.S. Military Members Must Get COVID Vaccine by Mid-September6 Tips on Getting Back to Your Regular Doctor's CheckupNursing Home Staff Closest to Patients Are Least Likely to Get COVID Vaccines
Questions and AnswersVideosLinksBook Reviews
Related Topics

Health Insurance
Healthcare

How Your Medicines Make Their Way Into Rivers, Lakes and Bays

HealthDay News
by Robert Preidt
Updated: Aug 23rd 2021

new article illustration

MONDAY, Aug. 23, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Leaky sewer pipes are to blame for large amounts of human medicines getting into rivers, lakes and other bodies of water, a new study reveals.

Researchers found that tens of thousands of doses of drugs get into Chesapeake Bay in Maryland every year due to seeping sewer pipes.

"Pharmaceuticals enter freshwaters through multiple pathways, including effluent from wastewater treatment and septic systems, as well as agricultural runoff," said lead author Megan Fork, a postdoctoral research associate at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies in Millbrook, N.Y. "An important, but often overlooked contributor is aging and faulty wastewater infrastructure, which is common in many older cities."

This type of pollution occurs worldwide and can have a significant environmental impact, according to the report published Aug. 18 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.

For the study, Fork's team analyzed water samples collected weekly from six sites in Baltimore's Gwynns Falls watershed. The samples were screened for 92 human pharmaceuticals; 37 were detected. The antibiotic trimethoprim was the most common.

The highest concentration of drugs was detected where Gwynns Falls meets Baltimore's Inner Harbor. The painkiller acetaminophen (Tylenol) was most common there.

Further research showed that leaky sewage pipes in the Gwynns Falls watershed delivered the equivalent of tens of thousands of doses of pharmaceuticals into Baltimore's Inner Harbor. That included 30,000 adult doses of antidepressants, 1,700 doses of antibiotics and about 30,000 tablets of acetaminophen.

Concentrations were at levels that could affect organisms' behavior, biology and other ecological processes. Levels were highly variable, exposing aquatic animals and plants to an ever-changing mixture of compounds, the researchers said.

"Establishing the loads of contaminants such as pharmaceuticals is important since low concentrations may mislead regulators and managers into thinking that they are insignificant," Fork said in an institute news release.

In Baltimore, scientists are already seeing that stream-dwelling bacteria are resistant to common antibiotics, she said. That suggests that ongoing low exposures can have significant effects on stream life.

Study co-author Emma Rosi, an aquatic ecologist at the Cary Institute, said researchers estimate that nearly 1% of raw sewage from the Gwynns Falls watershed flows into the environment via leaking infrastructure.

"If we extrapolate our calculations to the entire Chesapeake Bay watershed, we estimate that approximately 11.7 billion liters of raw sewage may enter the Bay via leaks every year – carrying a range of pharmaceutical compounds that can affect aquatic organisms and disrupt ecosystem processes," Rosi said.

Fork described the findings as significant.

"Our findings underscore the ubiquity of drugs in freshwaters, and the need to examine and account for all pollution pathways, not just obvious ones like wastewater treatment plant effluent," she said.

More information

The U.S. National Library of Medicine explains how and when to get rid of unused medications.

SOURCE: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, news release, Aug. 18, 2021




Facebook

Amazon Smile

 

Children and Adult services are available now with no wait time.  

Please contact HBH at 860-548-0101, option 2.

 


powered by centersite dot net