The Huffington Post published an article today highlighting a study by the School of Freshwater Sciences (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee). That study aptly titled “Pharmaceuticals and personal care products found in the Great Lakes above concentrations of environmental concern” reported that PPCP’s (pharmaceutical and personal care products) were evident in much higher concentrations than previously thought. Are reports of prescription drugs in water supply an overreach? Maybe… but maybe not.
In the Huff Post article the authors report that “The environmental risk of PPCPs in large lake systems, such as the Great Lakes, has been questioned due to high dilution; however, the concentrations found in this study, and their corresponding risk quotient, indicate a significant threat by PPCPs to the health of the Great Lakes, particularly near shore organisms.”
Interesting to note that the most commonly detected PPCPs in Lake Michigan were metformin, caffeine, sulfamethoxazole, and triclosan. The list of other PPCP’s found in the Great Lakes contained many additional pharmaceutical type medications like Acetaminophen, Codeine and Ciprofloxacin. What can you do today? Learn how to properly dispose of expired medications in the home. Think before you flush these drugs down the toilet. The damage we’re doing is only going to get worse if we don’t take action today.
This study should cause concern AND create awareness for environmental issues that may result from exposure to these chemicals in our water and/or sediment. It’s high time we start talking about measures to protect our planet folks, it’s the only one we have!