If you live in the New England area, you may have heard about the recent report on Cape Cod drinking water. From the article on Boston Health News,
Septic systems are the most likely source for most of the 18 chemicals detected, which include nine pharmaceuticals, an insect repellent, halogenated organophosphate flame retardants and perfluorinated chemicals. The two most frequently detected chemicals were sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic commonly used to treat urinary tract infections and pneumonia, and PFOS, used in stain-resistant and nonstick coatings, as well as fire-fighting foams. Levels of these compounds were among the highest reported in US drinking water, except in a few cases of industrial contamination. The widespread presence of antibiotics has raised the possibility of promoting development of antibiotic-resistant pathogens. PFOS and the related compound PFOA, which was also detected in this study, are hormone disrupting compounds that have been associated at higher exposure levels with effects on the thyroid, mammary gland, cholesterol metabolism, immune system, cancer, and growth and development.
This seems like a good time to remind ourselves not to flush medications or put them down the sink. I previously discussed how to dispose of medications. Photo credit: me, from my favorite Cape Cod beach!