No I am not referring to yet another DVD. I wish I were . . .
Over the course of 5 months, AP did an investigation of the U.S. water supply. They tested 24 major metropolitan areas including SoCal, New Jersey, and Detroit, 50 of the nations largest cities, and several municipalities, totaling 50 states that had at least one city studied. They also interviewed 24o people involved in water management, oversight, and research.
What they found: low level concentrations of pharmaceuticals ranging from antibiotics and acetaminophen on one end and humane sex hormones, chemo meds, and mood stabilizers on the other. Of 35 watersheds tested 28 were contaminated. These include NYC and Santa Clara CA, who have no plans of addressing the issue or doing further testing at this time. Several municipalities said their tests showed no drugs when questioned, but independent research proved otherwise.
Large concentrations of any of these substances could result in liver or kidney damage, tumor growth, failed cells, impaired reproduction or development, brain damage, or other body and/or brain chemistry altering affects. Despite official denials, closed water research conferences have started to sound the alarm about the link between med.s contaminated water and human and animal health. Research has found that small amounts of medication have already affected human embryonic kidney cells – developing too slowly, blood cells – inflammed, and breast cancer cells – growing too rapidly.
Research also shows that the impact is at every level of the food chain. One of the main concerns is the “feminization” of male species due to exposure to estrogen and other human growth hormones appearing in large concentration in the water at certain municipalities. These biological changes impact the entire species through migration, breeding, etc. Meaning contamination in one localized area is quickly translated into global contamination due to failure to regulate. Consumption leads contamination through the entire food chain, impacting those who might not come into contact with infected water or enough infected water to otherwise be harmed.
Two industry issues should raise concern: First, testing on water is done regularly but the presence of drugs and/or other substances deemed to be at non-harmful levels are seldom reported. Second, the chemical treatment used to clean water is known to not to eradicate 100% pharmaceuticals found in the water. This means water plants and utilities are well aware of the issue and doing nothing to change it.
Worse: The Federal Government has no requirement nor safety standards for the presence of drugs in the water. That means the companies are already doing more than they are required to do and it is not enough. The EPA recommended that 287 substances be added to the Safe Drinking Water Act; the government included only one.
Before you rush out to buy bottled water or an expensive home-filtration system, most manufacturers of these products do not test for pharmaceuticals either. There is also some leakage into well water, though at much lower levels than anywhere else. Like water treatment companies and utilities none of these systems are required to test for pharmaceuticals in the water or warn well water users.
So what can you do? Buy water or a filtration system that has been through reverse-osmosis. You should do this anyway because reverse osmosis removes most of the contaminates in water anyway. The draw back to such a system is that it also leave several gallons of completely contaminated water behind for every gallon of clean water produced.
Where does that contaminated water go? I don’t know.
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If you would like more information or a copy of the report this post is based on, contact the AP Investigative Team.
Major research is also being done at The Institute for Health and the Environment at SUNY Albany.