The Pharmaceuticals In Drinking Water
An Associated Press investigation this March found a vast array of miscellaneous pharmaceuticals in the drinking water that supplies the households of at least 41 million Americans. These include antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones from oral contraceptives and hormone replacement therapy. These last drugs have previously been shown to cause sexual changes and sterility in fish from swimming in streams and lakes affected by this pharmaceutical pollution.
The concentration of the pharmaceuticals found is tiny, but large enough to have ripple effects across the general ecosystem. Drugs in the public water originate with prescriptions to people, who then urinate out the metabolites or breakdown products, and flush. Although wastewater is treated before it is released to lakes, rivers or reservoirs, not all drug residues are removed.
Recent studies have shown that not only wildlife are affected by these drugs, but also changes in human cells have been affected.
More than 100 different pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, rivers, reservoirs and streams throughout the world, especially in the northern hemisphere, in largest concentration here in the United States, where drugs are very popular, and the population has for the most part lost its knowledge of and confidence in natural ways of living and healing from disease.
The biggest threat to humans from this pollution seems to be, like most pollution, to our developing children, to our nervous systems and to our immune systems. Medication for depression or epilepsy can damage the brain or change behavior. The widespread casual dispersal of antibiotics is what has allowed the growth of recent “super bugs” such as MRSA, which is a serious threat in hospitals and other public places. The sex hormones in public water can hinder the future reproduction ability and even the proper development of our children.
Recent research has also shown that human breast cancer cells, human blood cells, and even the kidney cells of human embryos have been affected by medication. Women who are even considering having children within the next few years should see their naturopathic physician about tapering off of drugs now before their first pregnancy. A good rule of thumb is to detox and stay as clean as you can for a year before conceiving. What constitutes an adequate detox varies from person to person, and would be best planned together with your naturopathic physician.
Pharmaceuticals are synthetic chemicals designed to have specific effects at low concentrations, amounts measured usually in milligrams (thousandths of a gram), so it should be no surprise that they are beginning to wreak such havoc.
The best solution to the problem for the individual is to use reverse osmosis, which does remove pharmaceuticals. Of course, it is not a good solution for large-scale use, because it leaves several gallons of polluted water for every one that is made drinkable.
Learn about how natural treatments can help to treat cancer that may be caused by these pharmaceuticals here.
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