President’s Cancer Panel Report, Pharma Trace Contamination of Freshwater Supplies

03 Environmental Degradation, 07 Health, 12 Water, Corporations, Power Behind-the-Scenes/Special Interests

This year’s report focuses primarily on environmental factors that contribute to cancer risk. According to the report, pharmaceutical drugs are a serious environmental pollutant, particularly in the way they continue to contaminate waterways across the country.

2008–2009 Annual Report from the President’s Cancer Panel
REDUCING ENVIRONMENTAL CANCER RISK: What We Can Do Now
(240 pages)

According to a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) study conducted back in 2002, antidepressants, blood pressure and diabetes medications, anticonvulsants, oral contraceptives, hormone replacement therapy drugs, chemotherapy drugs, antibiotics, heart medications and even codeine are all showing up in the water supplies of American cities. This study was the first national-scale evaluation of pharmaceutical drug contamination in streams, and roughly 80 percent of the streams tested were found to be contaminated as well.

In 2008, an AP investigation found that at least 46 million Americans are drinking water contaminated with trace amounts of pharmaceuticals. Even though every city tested has its water treated and “purified” prior to being delivered to the public, trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs are making their way through to the tap.

The U.S. isn’t the only place where Big Pharma is dumping its waste, either. In 2009, researchers found that India’s rivers are full of dangerous pharmaceuticals, too.

(Excerpts taken from this article)

Related:
45 pages of links on water resources