This is an interesting article about water testing in the Great Lakes that found the presence of nicotine byproducts and cholesterol drugs.
The people urging addtional reserch are not left wing eco-radicals. The water sampling was done on the intake pipes of water utilities by the States surrounding the Great Lakes as well as the USGS. A link to the full report is available at the end.
by Amanda Smith-Teutsch
After testing of water in the Great Lakes revealed the presence of nicotine byproducts and cholesterol drugs, a group advocating for the protection of the inland seas is calling for more research into the long-term effects of drugs in drinking water.
The Alliance for The Great Lakes said a recent sampling of Lake Michigan revealed low levels of cotinine, a nicotine byproduct, and the cholesterol-modifying drug gemfibrozil, distributed throughout the water. Also found were substances including heart medications, herbicides, estrogen, antibiotics and pain anti-inflammatory agents.
“Broader use of pharmaceuticals and growing knowledge of the health effects from their chemical byproducts make drug pollution an emerging concern,” said Lyman Welch, Alliance Water Quality Program manager and lead author of the report, Protecting the Great Lakes from Pharmaceutical Pollution. “As we learn more about what dangers these drugs pose, we have to be ready to take precautionary steps to limit the amount that passes into the Great Lakes every day.”
While some experts say the levels are too low to impact human health, Welch said it could take up to 100 years to flush the pollutants out of the Great Lakes waterways. The report points out that some researchers worry human health could be threatened by long-term, low-level exposure to some of the chemicals found in the water, such as hormones and cell-change agents. These compounds are designed to work in the body at low concentrations, the Alliance said.
The U.S. Geological Survey indicated some aquatic wildlife were suffering endocrine changes due to exposure to the pharmaceuticals.