10 March 2008

What’s in the Water?

What’s in the water? How about a whole slew of drugs! In trace amounts of course, but there nonetheless. A more complete list – or as complete as can be had by the public at the moment –can be found at this website. Some of the highlights of water supplies tested are “antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones” according to the AP as reported through the Wall Street Journal.

One of the questions is: why worry? If these substances are only in parts per billion or trillion, surely they can’t harm anything, right? How much are we willing to bet our future health (or current, for that matter) on that? I’m not sure about most folks, but I’d like to avoid tiny doses of medication when I quench my thirst.

Of course, the remedy will surely be for water treatment plants to come up with a way to cleanse water completely of all of these contaminants. That’s what water treatment plants are for, right? But with stories abounding for years about over-prescription of drugs for everything from sexual problems to mood problems to ADD/ADHD to infection, might this contamination be another sign that Americans simply take too many prescription drugs?

I know that’s a touchy question because it hits too close to the individual and his or her behavior. But it’s something to think about. I can’t purify water myself, but I can take care of what I do with prescriptions in my life. Individual responsibility – what a wonderful thing!

1 comment:

einheri said...

I agree with you on the point that personal responsibility would definitely solve and/or solve this problem. However, I am not worried at all, as I am also told that there is not a single body of water in the world that is not to some extent radioactive (I haven't seen any actual data or facts this is just hearsay). The world and Universe as a whole has a magnificent way of repairing itself, and to think that one species of organisms can destroy even a planet irreversibly gives humans too much credit. What the human race is capable of doing however is destroying itself. There is a much greater chance of the human race simply killing itself off than ruining the planet, which even then one would be, surprised how readily organisms adapt to their surroundings. That's just my two cents, sorry going into a bit of a rant. Who knows, if we are lucky (I guess you could say lucky) we will advance the human race to a sort of super human organism by natural selection and adaptation (wow…sorry for such a morbid joke).