The issue of environmental pollution by pharmaceutical residue rarely makes headlines. But those who keep an eye on natural health and environmental safety are alerting the public against this environmental/public health problem.
The Alliance for Natural Health wrote in a post today that more than 2000 pharmaceutical active ingredients, abbreviated APIs, enter our water bodies worldwide by one way or another. They thus become a health risk for both animals and people who ingest them through the water system. Whether these buildup to a dangerous amount in the water isn’t the question when it comes to health. The alliance writes:
Some APIs used in anti-cancer treatment will not have a safe lower level if they interact directly with DNA—especially on sensitive populations.
Prescription medications discarded by people account for a part of this APIs contamination. The post cited above gives one example of how prescription drugs can affect the natural environment and its animal life, which also comes with a big economic cost. The drug Ivermectin, prescribed for killing parasites (for example mange/scabies in people and animals) has been known to kill dung beetle which is a natural decomposer of animal waste.
What’s the Solution?
The alliance says that due to the varied sources of pharmaceutical pollution of environment, no single approach can be counted on to solve the problem. It does underscore the nee d for Pharmaceutical companies to do more.
But drug companies should be forced to do more to show that their drugs are safe if we are going to be exposed to them at low doses through our drinking water.
With no easy solution in immediate view, it is certainly left to the layman, one who is on the receiving end of it all, to stay informed and recycle any drugs and/or other medical supplies in the household as safely as possible.