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Quality Water Filters 4 You Posting Page
Friday, July 8, 2011
Many consumers are not aware of the dangers posed by pharmaceuticals in the water in their region. It may seem ironic that people spend billions of dollars a year on various drugs only to flush them down the drain. When they do this, those drugs end up in the water supply. This is why pharmaceuticals in the water has become a national issue.

The types of pharmaceuticals in the water that are currently being found include over the counter medications as well as prescription drugs and certain medications that are commonly used on livestock. The issue is not that pills are flowing out of taps, but rather that these drugs are dissolving in the water and are very difficult, if not impossible, to remove once they go into solution. A sampling program that was started back in the 1990's discovered 30 different types of drugs and related chemicals in various surface water samples. The problem has gotten worse since then.

In a recent study published by the U.S. Geological Survey, they discovered a wide range of chemicals located downstream from many urban areas. They tested for 95 chemicals and found one or more in 80 percent of the waterways they sampled. In some areas they found 10 or more of the chemicals.

While the levels found are low, there is concern that long-term exposure to even low levels of certain chemicals can cause health problems. For example, one recent study found that nearly 80% of American children have residual content in their bodies of at least one pesticide. Also, researchers are finding increased amounts of antibiotics in waterways which pose yet another danger to human health.

While much of the pharmaceuticals in the water are caused by consumers improperly disposing of their meds, there are other causes as well. These include disposal by hospitals, pharmaceutical industries, medical facilities, and farming and agricultural businesses. Many of these drugs do not biodegrade once they enter the water supply and may persist in groundwater (for instance) for years.

Consumers should understand that drinking water treatment plants can remove several of these chemicals, but take this with a grain of salt because the best technology for removing these chemicals is not used in the US. The most effective treatment methods for removing pharmaceuticals in the water at the water treatment plant level include oxidation, membrane filtration, and nano-filtration. It has been reported that the least effective method is chlorination, which is the most common disinfection technique used by US water plants.

For those concerned about pharmaceuticals in the water, water filtration systems that are based on reverse osmosis can remove virtually all pharmaceutical contaminants. To date, this is the only reliable preventive water filtering option for this particular problem.





by: Chris Tracey

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