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DID YOU KNOW?




Improperly disposed pharmaceutical and personal care products can contaminate both ground water and surface water.

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products(PPCPs) are a diverse group of chemicals. Medications, dietary supplements, and other consumer products are introduced into the environment in a variety of ways. Generally, wastewater treatment systems do not treat for these products which results in elevated levels in our drinking water supplies. Ways PPCP can be introduced into the environment include: intentional disposal of unneeded PPCPs (flushing); bathing or swimming; discharge from municipal sewage systems or private septic systems; leaching from landfills; runoff from confined animal feeding operations; discharge of raw sewage from storm overflow events; accidental discharges to a groundwater recharge area; loss from aquaculture; and spray-drift from antibiotics used on food crops. A study by the U.S. Geological Survey published in 2002 brought attention to PPCPs in water. In a sampling of 139 susceptible streams in 30 states, detectable yet minute quantities of PPCPs were found in 80 percent of the streams. The most common PPCPs detected were steroids and nonprescription drugs. Antibiotics, prescription medication, detergents, fire retardants, pesticides and natural and synthetic hormones were also found. The Groundwater Foundation provides an excellent fact sheet regarding this problem: http://www.groundwater.org/pe/pack/fa13.pdf

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