Drugs detected in private well water in north central Pennsylvania

It’s just alarming that when all along you think that you are drug free only to find out that there is actually drug in your system. Although this does not happen all the time, but there have been instances of this already. What is worse is the fact that it can affect you in different ways and this is not of your own doing. Just like in the rural North Pennsylvania where small amounts of over-the-counter and prescription drugs have been found in their well water.

drugs in water

It’s a good thing that the drugs found were in low concentration only and will not pose serious risk to human health. But come to think of it, what it’s enough to cause harm and damage to health? It’s becomes a problem that is not supposed to happen. This simply shows that drugs are very rampant that everywhere, anywhere, we can have them whether we want it or not. This is why addiction treatment centers should be available to lessen the number of drugs addicts and to save more lives from being at risk.

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Researchers at Penn State University recently found small amounts of over-the-counter and prescription drugs in well water in rural north central Pennsylvania.

The substances include antibiotics for treating bacterial infections and the common painkiller acetaminophen.

Joanna Wilson, a biologist at McMaster University in Canada who was not part of the study, said she’s not surprised at the findings.

“Pretty much everything that’s used in the human population at a high rate can be found in the environment,” she said. “Often people don’t really think about the medication that they’re taking and where it goes; they see it going into their body, but they don’t think about it coming out.”

Simply put, the drugs leave the body and go into the toilet. And some still get rid of extra prescriptions by flushing them down the toilet.

There are similar types of drugs in similar concentrations in water in Canada, the U.S., and most of Europe, she said.

These drugs are found in very low concentrations, so low that we shouldn’t have to worry about significant health risks to humans, said Heather Gall, one of the researchers and an assistant professor of agricultural and biological engineering at Penn State.

“You would have to drink hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of liters of water to get the equivalent of a dose of one of these contaminants,” she said.

When her team told the well owners of their findings, she said, they wanted to know the origin of the drugs. The wells are in rural, forested areas, so the drugs probably didn’t come from agriculture runoff or wastewater.


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