Affordable Access

Drugged drinking water.

Environmental Health Perspectives
Environmental Health Perspectives
Publication Date
  • Research Article
  • Chemistry
  • Pharmacology


We should no longer think of water as a gift of nature but an industry which needs investment. Thawat Vichaidiji, Thai water official quoted in the Bangkok Post, 17 March 1991 Drugged Drinking Water Drugs and personal care products that are excreted from or washed off the body natu- rally end up in the sewage that flows into sewer systems and septic tanks, but where do they go from there? Scientists are begin- ning to monitor the extent of pharmaceuti- cal and personal care products (PPCPs) in the aquatic environment and their conse- quences. What they’re finding is that, through leaching from septic tanks and escaping intact through sewage treatment processes, some of these substances are end- ing up back in the drinking water. Germany has been at the forefront of PPCP monitoring. Studies conduct- ed there during the past 10 years confirmed the pres- ence of PPCPs in treated and untreated sewage e f f l u e n t , surface water, groundwater, and drinking water. Most commonly found were anti- inflammatory and pain-killing drugs, cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti- convulsants, and sex hormones from oral contraceptives. Samples from 40 German rivers and streams turned up residues of 31 different PPCPs, according to a report pre- sented at the March 2000 American Chemical Society meeting in San Francisco, California, by Thomas Ternes, a chemist at the Institute for Water Research and Water Technology in Wiesbaden. Researchers worldwide have discovered more than 60 different PPCPs in water sources, according to Christian Daughton, chief of the Environmental Chemistry Branch of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Environmental Sciences Division in Las Vegas, Nevada. In addition to the drugs noted above, the list includes antineoplastics, beta-blockers, bronchodilators, lipid regulators, hypnotics, antibiotics, antiseptics, X-ray contrast agents, sunscreen agents, caffeine, and fra- grances such as synthetic musks. Most PPCPs are detected at concentrations rang- ing from pa

There are no comments yet on this publication. Be the first to share your thoughts.


Seen <100 times