What are they putting in the water?

I have always said that you can measure the intelligence of a culture by how they care for their water sources. Maybe here in the U.S., we’re not doing so good. This link discusses the wastewater discharges of several pharmaceutical companies.

View Enlarged ImagePatrick PhillipsDRUGS IN WATER: USGS scientists sample for painkillers in a stream in New York state.

from Chemical and Engineering News

…researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) compared effluent from two New York state treatment plants serving drug manufacturers to 24 treatment plants not receiving pharmaceutical-plant waste in 12 states. Referring to the plants serving drugmakers, Dana Kolpin, a research hydrologist at USGS and a coauthor of the new study, says: “When we scanned the effluent samples using capillary gas chromatography/mass spectrometry, we noticed large peaks due to unknown substances.” Comparing GC/MS scans of known drugs to scans of the unknown samples allowed the researchers to determine that the unknowns were seven opiates and muscle relaxants that are among the most frequently prescribed medications in the U.S., he says.

Effluent samples from across the country showed evidence of the drugs, but concentrations were all less than 1 µg/L. However, the New York plants that serve drugmakers released the seven painkillers in concentrations ranging from 3.4µg/L to 3,800 µg/L. The highest concentration was for the muscle relaxant metaxalone…

more via Chemical and Engineering News

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