Is Your Drinking Water Polluted by Big Pharma?
Scientists studying the world’s rivers found dangerous levels of drugs are contaminating water on every continent — including in the U.S. — because pharmaceuticals are not purified out of drinking water systems.
The study reported that, “The most extensively studied country in this work was the United States. Here, 81 sampling sites were monitored (Dataset S2) along 29 rivers across 8 states (Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Iowa, Missouri, Nevada, New York, and Texas).”
In the U.S., Dallas was considered a “hot spot” with cumulative concentrations of 10,000 nanograms/liter (parts per trillion) of APIs, while Las Vegas came in behind Dallas at ~5,000 nanograms/liter of APIs.
In a news report about the study, The Guardian stated:
“Pharmaceuticals and other biologically active compounds used by humans are known to harm wildlife and antibiotics in the environment drive up the risk of resistance to the drugs, one of the greatest threats to humanity.”
John Wilkinson, at the University of York in the UK, and who led the study involving 127 researchers from 86 institutions, told The Guardian:
“‘The World Health Organization and UN and other organizations say antimicrobial resistance is the single greatest threat to humanity — it’s a next pandemic.’”
Many cities in the U.S. pump their drinking water supplies directly out of local rivers and then purify that water to make it healthy for humans. However, the degree to which pharmaceuticals are cleaned out of drinking water varies across the U.S.
In Southern California, for example, about half of all drinking water comes from the Colorado River which is downstream of Las Vegas and also downstream of massive numbers of cattle feedlots and grazing lands across the Southwest U.S.