An article in the Burlington Free Press says a University of Vermont research scientist has found pharmaceuticals in Burlington’s wastewater discharge. This goes directly into Lake Champlain, the source of drinking water for tens of thousands of people.
We now know that very small amounts of these chemicals can disrupt our hormonal systems. In fact, the article acknowledges that the drugs are having a measurable effect on aquatic life in Lake Champlain.
Drugs from urine will go into the water, but we can all decrease the amount of drugs that go into our drinking water by disposing of our drugs responsibly, not down the drain.
Burlington is not alone. This is a nationwide problem. The USGS found 80% of streams tested have pharmaceuticals in them, and the EPA found drug residue in all of the large wastewater systems they tested.
National Drug Takeback day is April 30th. That is a great time to remind your community not to dispose of pharmaceuticals down the drain, but to bring them to a drug take back site (possibly your local police station!).