Monday, March 10, 2008

Druggy Water: Drinking From The City Supply Lowered My Cholesterol 30 Points In 30 Days

By Manifesto Joe

No, not really. But the results of an Associated Press investigation released Sunday could make you wonder what's in your municipal water supply, if that's the water you drink.

The AP reported that traces of medical drugs were found in the municipal water supplies of 24 major metro areas from coast to coast. The tap water going to 41 million Americans showed these tiny quantities.

City officials were quick to point out that the amounts of pharmaceutical chemicals and over-the-counter substances here are minuscule, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion. But scientists are a bit worried about the long-term consequences for Americans' health.

And, it raises another question: Could this be yet another indicator of how egregiously overmedicated Americans have become at the hands of greedy drug companies and myopically compliant doctors?

Here are some of AP's findings:

-- Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city's watersheds.

-- Anti-epileptic and anti-anxiety medications were detected in a portion of the treated drinking water for 18.5 million people in Southern California.

--Researchers at the U.S. Geological Survey analyzed a Passaic Valley Water Commission drinking water treatment plant, which serves 850,000 people in Northern New Jersey, and found a metabolized angina medicine and the mood-stabilizing carbamazepine in drinking water.

_A sex hormone was detected in San Francisco's drinking water.

-- The drinking water for Washington, D.C., and surrounding areas tested positive for six pharmaceuticals.

-- Three medications, including an antibiotic, were found in drinking water supplied to Tucson, Ariz.

The situation is undoubtedly worse than suggested by the positive test results in the major population centers documented by the AP.

The AP found that officials in many cities weren't terribly cooperative. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public "doesn't know how to interpret the information" and might be unduly alarmed.

For whatever reassurance this provides, the Environmental Protection Agency is aware of the phenomenon. AP again: "We recognize it is a growing concern and we're taking it very seriously," said Benjamin H. Grumbles, assistant administrator for water at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Despite the official assertions of drinking-water safety, this sounds like a job for a congressional committee. Perhaps experience has made me a little paranoid, but when there's secrecy, that usually means somebody has something to hide.

AP again:

The New York state health department and the USGS tested the source of the city's water, upstate. They found trace concentrations of heart medicine, infection fighters, estrogen, anti-convulsants, a mood stabilizer and a tranquilizer.

City water officials declined repeated requests for an interview. In a statement, they insisted that "New York City's drinking water continues to meet all federal and state regulations regarding drinking water quality in the watershed and the distribution system" — regulations that do not address trace pharmaceuticals.

Some scientists theorize that the ever-increasing amounts of pharmaceuticals and OTC meds that people take are a big part of this problem. Much of the stuff leaves your body in your urine. And, here's a hint -- think before you ever flush unused pills down the commode.

Another disturbing thought is that this problem is not confined to the waters of the U.S. Such contamination has been found in chemical analysis of waters all over the world.

There are other facets of the problem. Many modern drugs, such as cholesterol meds, tranquilizers and anti-epileptic drugs, resist the most up-to-date wastewater treatment processes. And, how about animals?

AP again: Human waste isn't the only source of contamination. Cattle, for example, are given ear implants that provide a slow release of trenbolone, an anabolic steroid used by some bodybuilders, which causes cattle to bulk up. But not all the trenbolone circulating in a steer is metabolized. A German study showed 10 percent of the steroid passed right through the animals.

Water sampled downstream of a Nebraska feedlot had steroid levels four times as high as the water taken upstream. Male fathead minnows living in that downstream area had low testosterone levels and small heads.

Are the fathead minnows our coal-mine canaries?

The recently deceased novelist Kurt Vonnegut once wrote about how drinking alcohol is made, as sort of a micro-allegory. The culture begins as yeast -- and as the yeast fungi feed on sugar, they shit alcohol (that's their version of feces). In fermentation, the increasingly polluted environment gradually destroys yeast, leaving the alcohol
behind for us reprobates to enjoy. I hope this doesn't really bother anyone next time they pour a couple of fingers of Jack Daniels -- that they're drinking yeast shit. It's never deterred me.

The relevance of this allegory is that we -- the yeast fungi who somehow climbed up out of the muck, began walking on two legs and invented plumbing -- seem to be doing something like that to ourselves on a grandiose scale, and on several fronts. This, if it's as bad as some researchers fear, is just one more way we may be doing ourselves in as a species.

There are serious inconveniences that this phenomenon would have potential to cause. Most men would never aspire to breast enlargement; I have yet to receive a spam e-mail from Stephanie or Inga making me such an offer. I certainly wouldn't want it courtesy of estrogen in my tap water.

Congress persons, step up to the plate. We need panel hearings on this issue.

To read the entire AP report, go here.

Manifesto Joe Is An Underground Writer Living In Texas.


nathan harris said...

Is there anyway to have the drug companies clean up the enviroment

Watershed1 said...

why not try this approach.

If you have ever had Reiki. If you believe in radios but don't know how they really truly work. If you have ever experienced intuition before. If you believe water is far, far more than a clear liquid, then possibly you'll be open to the concept of 'energy'/ether healing water and then you.

Too much detail for this comment but if a radio antenna can attract a certain frequency we can't see, that carries infomation in it then surely we should be open to a device that attracts the good stuff, ether (chi, Prana) to the water source. Then, by virtue of the 'intelligence' of water, the waters current sick status is transformed to the resonance of the ether.

Weird? Maybe to many. Untrue? Not to this young duck.

I have one. A Vortex Energizer that is a stand alone device that is placed, preferably, at the mains. All water passing it will take on the resonance/energy of the attracted ether. Result. Water that tastes brilliant. Every test i do with friends comes back the same.

Maybe the world isn't ready for the implementation of this conept on a large scale but at least we can start at home. Maybe they'll start asking questions.