Disturbing levels of HEART DRUGS found in drinking water, says study, as concern for long term health effects grows
- At least 25 different drugs found in samples from 50 wastewater plants
- Drugs for high blood pressure were the most common of those found
Traces of prescription drugs have been found in far greater quantities in US drinking water supplies than previously thought, a study has claimed.
A report on drinking water carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency has found samples of at least 25 different drugs, including medication to treat heart conditions, in supplies coming out of wastewater treatment plants.
Medication to treat high blood pressure was not only the most commonly traced drug, but also found in the highest quantities.
Health officials say that the traces of the drugs, which include over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, pose a low risk to humans.
But they have also said that there is no credible research to predict the effect that the cocktail of drugs could have on humans or wildlife.
Environmental lawyers are now calling for more tests to be carried out on the water supply to find out what the long term effects of drinking it could be.
Nick Schroeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in Detroit, Michigan, told The New Republic: 'All of these drugs out there on the market are going to be discharged into the environment and we don't know what the effects are, because there's no requirement to do an assessment on the front end.
'We're not trying to scare anyone, but we need to know what these chemical compounds will do to the environment and what are the long term effects for humans.'
The study will be published in the Environmental Pollution journal in the New Year.
Scientists examined samples from 50 large wastewater plants testing for 56 drugs.
Though the EPA was surprised by the results according the The New Republic, one of the reasons for the high numbers is that better technology is available to trace the tiniest quantities of drugs.
But it could also be down to the fact that we are taking more medication than ever.
A Mayo Clinic Study from earlier this year found that 70 per cent of Americans now take prescription drugs compared to 48 per cent five years ago.
The drugs find their way into the water system when our bodies release them when we urinate or if old drugs are flushed down the toilet.
Find this story at www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2522555/Disturbing-levels-HEART-DRUGS-drinking-water-concern-long-term-health-effects-grows.html