Drug Disposal Programs
Various medicines have been finding their way in to the United States’ lakes and rivers for decades, and it is time that this issue is confronted head on. These drugs being introduced into the various water sources are causing problems for the citizens of this nation. The best solution to this dilemma is to implement drug disposal programs, which will safely dispose of the hazardous materials, and also to enforce major drug store chains to participate in these programs.
For years, even when asking doctors, the most common answer to disposing of old medicines was to flush them down the toilet to prevent children and/or pets getting into them. However, this is where the real problem begins. These drugs being introduced into our water and garbage dumps are posing problems for the septic system companies. Once drugs get into the septic system they kill the helpful bacteria and can go through the water treatment plants virtually untouched as explained below: Concerns about medication disposal were previously limited to preventing the accidental poisoning of children or animals when the medication was discarded. This resulted in the common practice of flushing pharmaceuticals into the sewage system and throwing them into the trash…Once in the domestic sewage, it is the responsibility of the sewage treatment plant to remove pollutants from the wastewater. Wastewater treatment plants, however, are designed primarily for the removal and treatment of natural human excrements and not the various anthropogenic substances such as PPCPs that become part of the wastewater. (Musson et al)
This leaves potent and harmful drugs getting into the water we use daily for showers, making tea or coffee, or the water kids play in during the summer.
Not only is this posing a problem within our own water supply but also the water supply for all animals. This potent drugs combining into their water in high doses will start killing off these animals. One...
Cited: Musson, Stephen, Timonthy Townsend, Kurt Seaburg, and John Mousa. “A Continuous Collection System for Household Pharmaceutical Wastes: A Pilot Project.” Journal of The Air and Waste Management Association (1995): n.pag. Web. 1 July 2007.
Thompson, Cheryl A. “Return-and-Disposal Programs Commence at Health Systems.” American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (2002): 1248, 1254. Web. 15 June 2007.
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