The articles keep coming, but you let them pass on by. It doesn’t matter that some medications may cause compulsive gambling or sleep driving. You don’t need to be advised to wear dark pants . . . just in case. It’s no big deal that cancer risks last long after the final dose. And you doubt that an increased chance of suicide will ever affect you, because you don’t take medications. Or if you do, it’s rare. You keep the drugs to a minimum, relying on them only when you must, only when there’s no other option. Therefore, the substances aren’t in your body, at least not regularly . . . but, actually, they are.
An analysis of “treated” water across the country found small quantities of antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones in much of the nation’s supply. Philadelphia alone had 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts. Southern California had anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications. Kentucky, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New York – all of them had similar findings. At least 41 million people are drinking trace amounts of drugs every day, and they have been for quite some time because the government doesn’t require testing. And many facilities fail to remove all pharmaceutical residues when treating the water. At small, sporadic doses, this wouldn’t be a concern, but when people are consuming the chemicals for fifty-odd years, health problems become a possibility, a very real possibility.
Now, you personally cannot restructure the water treatment plants or the watersheds supplying the country with tap. However, you can work to encourage change, and you can work to make your own water safer. Filtration systems won’t eradicate every undesired substance in your glass, but they will get rid of some. Bottled water isn’t undeniably more pure than tap, but in a questionable situation, it is the better choice. Make smart water decisions, and keep your unintentional medicating to a minimum.