Jun 29, 2018 in Blog Articles
Wastewater treatment plants are not engineered to remove pharmaceuticals from your water

Scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey have published a major study of how pharmaceutical companies pollute the environment by sending their wastewater to treatment plants. “Wastewater treatment plants taking discharges from nearby pharmaceutical manufacturers have ‘substantially’ higher concentrations of drugs in the water,” Environmental Health News reported, citing the study.

Tia-Marie Scott, lead author of the study and physical scientist for the USGS, spoke to Environmental Health News. “Modern wastewater treatment plants mostly reduce solids, and reduce bacteria. They were not engineered to deal with complex compounds,” she said. The researchers detected antihistamines, diabetic medication, muscle relaxants, blood pressure drugs, insomnia drugs, anti-seizure medication and anti-inflammatories.

The consequences on aquatic and human health of drugs entering the environment through wastewater treatment plants is not yet well understood, Environmental Health News reported. Even in some of the cleanest waters in the U.S., this pollution appears to be altering the sex functions of fish. In fish populations, scientists have noted “the presence of female eggs in male testes,” indicating “some kind of hormonal confusion,” National Geographic reported.
But the effects of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in water may not be limited to fish. As Water Online previously reported, there is research suggesting that exposure to PPCPs in drinking water may affect human, and in particular male, reproductive systems.

We at Filcon Filters continue to bring to your attention the ruination of the environment. We pride ourselves in providing quality filtration equipment to the southern Africa market.

Sources: Environmental Health News, National Geographic, Water Online