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Southern Ontario's drinking water contain drugs like pain killers and personal care products

It seems like just yesterday that I broached the topic of toxins in our water supply. Apparently, a new study led by University of Waterloo biology professor Mark Servos states that there are traces of personal-care products, painkillers and other drugs found in the drinking water of 15 southern Ontario municipalities. Pharmaceuticals drugs and antibacterial agents like triclosan were found in trace amounts.

Reasons cited include:
  • Antibiotics leaching into the water from livestock manure.
  • People dumping medications down the toilet.
  • Drugs excreted into the toilet after ingestion by the public.
Sewage treatment plants are good at removing things like bacteria, but were never designed to get rid of compounds such as drugs. Hopefully governments will implement newer technologies to filter out these other toxins.

What can we do in the mean time?
We need to realize that everything is connected in our environment. That's why it's important to use environmentally safe products (ie. cleaning agents) when we can do so. Such steps are not difficult for the average consumer as these products are readily gotten at your local grocery stores such as Longos, Loblaws or Dominions nowadays.

Remember to properly dispose of your batteries & computer parts to ensure that toxic compounds such as mercury do no seep into our land and water systems.

The Rexall chain of pharmacies, which includes Pharma Plus, has started a collection program for expired medications. People can now bring their unused drugs to the pharmacies and the medications will be disposed of in an "environmentally friendly" fashion.

Being environmentally responsible does impact your health in a significant way. We're all in this together, so be good to the earth.

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