Canada says perscription drugs may be polluting water.
"Aquathin OP-ED Commentary"
On February 22, 2001 we sent you an email discussing drugs in water. The concerns are valid and indeed growing.
Canada says prescription drugs may be polluting water
OTTAWA, CANADA — Health Canada is concerned that many of the drugs people take, ranging from birth control pills to antibiotics,
may end up in Canada's drinking water supply and could pose a risk to others.
The department announced recently the launch of a major research initiative to determine the extent of the problem and to draft new
regulations to minimize the risks, according to the Montreal Gazette.
Charles Ethier, director-general of the department's product-safety program, said very littleis known about the problem, The Gazette reported.
For years, regulators approved drugs on the basis they were safe for the patients who would receive them and were unaware the
substances may also be consumed through drinking water by others, including children and pregnant women, the article said.
European research has found as many as 60 different drugs are in Canada's water supply at very low concentrations. Officials at the
National Water Research Institute in Burlington, Ontario, have detected low levels of hormones from birth control pills, according
to the newspaper.
Antibiotics have also been found in the country's drinking water, which has led some researchers to suspect this might be partly why
humans are developing a resistance to the antibiotics, the newspaper said. The products are ending up in drinking water from
a variety of sources, including waste disposal from industry and health care facilities.
Health Canada is inviting representative from industry, environmental groups and academia to join with it in a research
program to determine what types of medical products are in the water supply, what the concentration levels are and at what levels
they pose risks, according to the article.
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Edited from Tech Bank 9/20/01