Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Drugs in our Water

The Barbara Cox video interviews are now posted over at the Bloomington Alternative (link), in which Barb makes a very important point with respect to water:

"What's in my backyard today is in your backyard tomorrow."

The Barbara Cox interviews were taped before the BIG BOMB dropped regarding water supplies across the country.

Here's what I mean...

On March 10, 2008, the Associated Press released some of the details of an intensive 5 month study of the nation's water supplies -- and they came up with some startling results:
A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

...And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife. (link to full story)

Here's the kicker...
The federal government doesn't require any testing and hasn't set safety limits for drugs in water. Of the 62 major water providers contacted, the drinking water for only 28 was tested. Among the 34 that haven't: Houston, Chicago, Miami, Baltimore, Phoenix, Boston and New York City's Department of Environmental Protection, which delivers water to 9 million people.

And don't, for one minute, think that all of this only has to do with human drugs entering the water supply.
In the United States, the problem isn't confined to surface waters. Pharmaceuticals also permeate aquifers deep underground, source of 40 percent of the nation's water supply. Federal scientists who drew water in 24 states from aquifers near contaminant sources such as landfills and animal feed lots found minuscule levels of hormones, antibiotics and other drugs.

Of particular concern, the news article highlighted this:
Human waste isn't the only source of contamination. Cattle, for example, are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the animals.

Water sampled downstream of a Nebraska feedlot had steroid levels four times as high as the water taken upstream. Male fathead minnows living in that downstream area had low testosterone levels and small heads.

This news comes at a time when the...
EPA is proposing a voluntary option for CAFOs to certify to the permitting authority that they do not discharge or propose to discharge and therefore do not need NPDES permit coverage. (link)

Seems to me that there is a WHOLE LOT OF GOVERNMENT HOUSECLEANING needed. Our tax dollars are paying these people to do ...what, exactly?

Don't think you've heard the end of this. The news is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.

"Tick. Tock" Time will tell.

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