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The Drug Store In Your Tap Water--and Fish on Prozac




You don't have to see a doctor to imbibe a witch's brew of prescriptions pain pills, antibiotics and psychiatric, cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy and heart drugs. They are free in many public drinking water systems says the Associated Press. Also found in drinking water is the toxic plastic, Bisphenol A. Some of the Bisphenol A comes from plastic bottled water which people, ironically, drink to avoid tap water risks!


Both the drug industry and water treatment experts say you don't have to worry about prescription drugs in drinking water. But it is only recently that serious testing has even been conducted. Mary Buzby director of environmental technology for Merck validated the fears in 2007. "There's no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they're at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms," she remarked at a conference in 2007.


Fish are a good indicator of the health of the water like canaries in the coal mine and they are revealing shocking effects. Fish caught near wastewater treatment plants near five major U.S. cities had residues of cholesterol, high blood pressure, allergy, bipolar and depression drugs reported Discovery news. Male fish in the estrogen-saturated St. Lawrence River around Montreal are developing ovaries, reported Daniel Cyr, at Quebec's National Institute for Science Research according to the Independent Post.  Feminized frogs with both female and male sex organs are already increasingly found in U.S. waterways and even suburban ponds. Fish in the same area as the feminized fish are also showing signs of the antidepressant Prozac in their systems says the University of Montreal.


The Southern Daily Echo News also reported fish on Prozac. The fish that were observed were five times more likely to swim toward light than away from it, making them also more susceptible to predators.


Shrimp are also believed to be at risk. ''Crustaceans are crucial to the food chain and if shrimps' natural behaviour is being changed because of antidepressant levels in the sea this could seriously upset the natural balance of the ecosystem," says Dr Alex Ford, from the University of Portsmouth's Institute of Marine Sciences.


Big Ag is also putting drugs in the water. Even if you don't eat hormone-grown cattle you can ingest the hormone trenbolone from ear implants reports the Associated Press. Water taken near a Nebraska feedlot had four times the trenbolone levels as other water samples and male fathead minnows nearby had low testosterone levels and small heads.


What can we do about the drug store in our drinking water? Certainly, never flush your meds down the toilet since water systems are clearly not removing everything. Ask your local government how often and how carefully your drinking water is tested for prescription drugs. Avoid foods grown with chemicals like hormone and antibiotics, especially animal products. And finally, stop taking drug just because you saw an ads on TV. Many drugs people take for "seasonal allergies," GERD, insomnia and "depression" are unnecessary and were never taken before drug ads on TV. There are natural cures that are safer for people, aquatic life and drinking water.


Have you read my cartoon-illustrated book on these topics? Born With a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp the Public Health will make you laugh, cry and change your eating habits. It is available from Random House, at Barnes and Noble, as an ebook on Amazon and in most libraries. A great holiday gift.

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