"Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. 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." What happened to "no safe level"? That’s for chemical compounds Big Pharma did not produce, not for the same and more compounds it does produce, just about all of which, the Associated Press and CBS News tell us, are polluting our water supplies. Every description of medication is turning up in public water supplies and, as an exalted health poobah explains, "bottled water isn’t any better than tap water."

A map provided by CNN (link) provides some specifics (move your cursor over darker-colored states.) Many of the substances are prescription or over-the-counter drugs, others such as caffeine and cotinine (related to nicotine) may derive from both pharmaceutical and other consumer products, such as coffee and cigarettes. Caffeine is an ingredient in many products and nicotine is present in the most common vegetables. Testing for "passive smoking" exposure based on cotinine in blood or urine has frequently been criticized because of the ubiquity of exposure from various sources. Its presence in drinking water strengthens this criticism.

Some of the drugs detected in water supplies are powerful prescription medicines. Mood drugs, epilepsy drugs, antibiotics, and numerous others with their byproducts and metabolites, all going into your system every day? Don’t be unduly alarmed! Fear your neighbors, fear all else — they’ve got anti-anxiety drugs for that — but you must love the chemicals of Big Pharma, even those polluting your water, call it passive doping, or environmental drug sludge, but never fear, just take them and like them, and shut up. The poobahs know best and they say you don’t know how to interpret such things.



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