“Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink”
Quote the Ancient Mariner by the English Romantic poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge in the early 1800’s exemplifies the concern that water can be abundant but unusable.
For two decades, evidence has been growing that residues from pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are continually contaminating the environment. Although details of the environmental health impacts are likely to remain sketchy for some time, it’s not too early to begin minimizing the potential for damage, says Christian Daughton of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency National Exposure Research Laboratory, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Daughton hopes this first comprehensive overview of the issue will spur discussion among the many disparate players involved in PPCPs’ life cycle–manufacturers, health care professionals, hazardous waste managers, drug enforcement officials, sewage treatment plant operators, water utility managers, funeral directors, veterinarians, homeland security officials, consumers, and many more. Many of these players historically have considered neither the ramifications of PPCP use nor opportunities for improvement in their production and consumption.
Since this article was written, I have posted several articles specifically targeting the growing water quality crisis. Attention to this critical component to human survival, on this planet, receives a lot of words from concerned groups, organizations and various government agencies, who moan about diminishing drinkable water and offer suggestions for individuals and localities. But, the causes are never stopped. No one is actually held accountable for cleaning up water polluting messes. No one is held accountable to change their irresponsible manufacturing techniques to protect water and land from their wastes and byproducts. As much lip service that has given to this critically important topic, all the hard work is being done at local and community levels. Since 2007, BossKitty has been persistent, trying to alert leaders and individuals to the ongoing contradictions that are ruining the chances for survival on a local, national and global scale.
- August 17, 2012 Greed, Denial and Bad Water
- August 10, 2012 On Fire, Out of Food, Out of Water, Out of Power
- August 2, 2012 Candidate State of Denial: Why Can’t They Buy Rain?
- June 7, 2012 America Is Pavlov’s Dog
- June 3, 2012 Climate Change – America’s Leaders Paid To Mislead
- May 6, 2012 UPDATE: Afghanistan, Cheap Drugs, and Soldiers – Vietnam and Denial
- April 30, 2012 America UNDER THE INFLUENCE!
- April 13, 2012 Dust Off The Old Lies For Gullible American Voters
- April 11, 2012 Mother Nature Ready To Bite The Ass Of Clueless Politicians
- March 29, 2012 Earthlings Have Lost Their Mothership
- March 24, 2012 GOP Candidates Ignore Water Crisis, Prefer Religious Culture Crisis
- March 22, 2012 Corporate Religion, Corporate Education and the Mental Devolution of America
- February 23, 2012 The Earth is Flat and Fracking is Safe
- February 17, 2012 Population Control, Climate Change and Zealots
- February 2, 2012 Water Crisis And the 2012 Presidential Campaign
- January 26, 2012 Divided and Apathetic We Fall …
- December 31, 2011 We Just Don’t Pay Attention
- December 12, 2011 Climate Change Controversy May Be A Conspiracy
- December 12, 2011 Let Me Sell you A Lie – EPA Consequences of The REINS Act – H.R. 10
- December 5, 2011 Plum Island For Sale – Top-secret Germ Warfare Facility Still Operational
- May 31, 2009 Rick Perry and Friends Welcome Toxic Burritos
- April 30, 2009 Blame Sloppy Hygiene For H1N1, Not The Pigs
- March 28, 2009 So Many Red Rivers – What Have We Learned
- March 15, 2009 Water water, dirty water, fuel for war
- March 15, 2009 Coastal Real Estate Prices Drown As Sea Levels Rise – Updated
- January 25, 2009 Who Has More Rights, The Vanquished or Profiteers
- December 6, 2008 Critical State of American Health
- November 16, 2008 Disasters Increase BioHazards – Global Health Is Personal
- August 23, 2008 “Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink”
- May 25, 2008 Ten mpg is now feasible … may save you money!
- May 16, 2008 Burma: “We are starving”
- May 14, 2008 Burma Millions Vulnerable and China Earthquake May Be Man-Made
- May 13, 2008 Darfur: Grief Useless, Rhetoric Empty, Nothing Changed
- May 13, 2008 Disaster Contrasts: Burma Hampers Aid, China Goes All Out
- May 10, 2008 Burma Faces Military Intervention “in the name of humanitarianism”
- May 8, 2008 NAFTA vs Homeland Security – America Looses
- May 8, 2008 Cyclone Nargis, Burma Catastrophe Ripple Effect
- May 6, 2008 Advisory: Great Lakes Critical Pollutant Health Risk
- May 5, 2008 Environment + Food Crisis + Profiteering = Bleak Future
- April 23, 2008 Planet of Cannibals – State of the World Op-Ed
- April 11, 2008 Global Food: “When its gone its gone”
- January 23, 2008 Poorly Covered News – Birds Fall From Sky Every Winter
- December 1, 2007 Hostage Crisis or Mental Health Crisis – Op-Ed
- November 24, 2007 Mr. Toilet Starts Worldwide Sanitation Revolution
- November 17, 2007 Not So Common Cold Is Nothing To Sneeze At
- October 21, 2007 Window To Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change Closing
- October 20, 2007 The Trash We Drink Changes Us, Water Wars Imminent
Outlining the problem: as revealed by research in the past two decades, … the myriad possible biological actions of PPCPs in air, soil, water, and groundwater are simply too complex to accurately predict. Furthermore, because some adverse health effects from PPCPs (particularly hormonally active drugs) appear to be quite possible, actions to minimize these effects should be considered.
He says: 1. improved packaging could extend shelf life and reduce the amount of a product that expires and must be discarded unused. 2. improving drug absorption so that smaller doses are needed and less is excreted. 3. sewage overflows into storm sewers and surface waters also could be curbed.
.. lotions, shampoos, fragrances, mouthwashes, sunscreens, and other products likely play a critical role in environmental contamination, Daughton says, because they are used in such large quantities and they readily wash off.
The pharmaceutical field also could benefit from more basic knowledge about PPCPs. 1. basic data such as the amount of PPCPs manufactured and used is unknown, 2. some of the basic facts regarding how much is metabolized, excreted, washed off, or otherwise directly disposed and leached into the environment–and possibly back into our bodies–in an altered form.
Despite such information gaps, several countries have already implemented programs that contain portions of Daughton’s suggestions. Canada, Australia, France, and Italy allow consumers to return unused drugs, for instance, which reduces the load on sewage treatment systems and landfills.
If problems are to be headed off, the process should begin soon, says Daughton. He notes that the Institute of Medicine has documented a 17-year gap from the time new medical knowledge and practices are developed to the time they are widely assimiliated into practice.
- Intro to Environment: Fate and Transport
- Exposure Pathway: Human
- Exposure Pathway: Ecological
- Monitoring and Detection Tools
- Assessment of Potential Ecological Effects
- Assessment of Potential Human Health Effects
- Environmental Stewardship Public Communication
Drugs are not the only pollutant that impact our drinking water, but, it is the largest source for toxic mixtures of drugs and hormones. DNA from biomasses are mixed in to the equation. For a Hollywood Horror Flick, the age of mutation has already arrived. In the 1950s it was atomic contamination, today it is pharma/DNA/hormone contamination. We are mutating. The next generation of genetically altered will beget the next generation of mutants.
Ever wonder why the American Child has so many learning disabilities? Why is there so much ADD and Psychological Dysfunction?
What will our children look like after this water crisis takes its course …
The quality of drinking water is critical to our health. Learn about your drinking water supply, how to monitor its quality and how to help keep it clean.
- Learn About Drinking Water
- Your Drinking Water Report
- Home Water Testing
- Protect Your Drinking Water
- Private Drinking Water Wells
- Questions About Drinking Water
Water pollution affects our oceans, coasts, lakes, rivers and streams and even our drinking water. Learn about some types of water pollution and their impacts.
- Beach Information
- Fish Advisories
- Nutrient Pollution
- Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products
- Marine Debris
- Impaired Waters
Water flows through our communities, in our cities and across our country. Learn about EPA’s work to protect and manage water resources.