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Between 2006 and 2007, the Southern Nevada Water Authority in Las Vegas screened tap water from 19 US water utilities for 51 different compounds. The 11 most frequently detected compounds are highlighted in the cartoon and described below.
What are these pharmaceuticals found in our water?
- used to treat cardiovascular disease
- an herbicide banned in the European Union (still used in the US) has been implicated in the decline of fish stocks and in changes in animal behavior
- a mood-stabilizing drug used to treat bipolar disorder
- an estrogen hormone blamed for causing gender-bending changes in fish
- an anti-cholesterol drug,
- a tranquilizer used in psychiatric treatment
- a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence
- an anticonvulsant used to treat epilepsy
- an antibiotic used against the “Strep” bacteria
- a reducing agent used in molecular biology
- an antibiotic
Yikes. Who’s up for an ice cold glass of water now? Luckily there are plenty of water filtration systems you can outfit your kitchen sink with — and even water bottles that filter water themselves.
Unfortunately, filtration systems that are able to remove pharmaceuticals are rather expensive…but hey, it is our health we’re talking about. Check out 3M’s water filtration solutions. They’ve got some cool water filter ideas going on.
I think every little step toward living green is an awesome one… but eco-snobbery sucks! My goal is to help newbies learn the most important steps toward living green — individually and collectively. Personally, I strive to have as little impact as possible on Planet Earth while I'm here.