Sunday, March 09, 2008

Phunny water in Philly?

AP reports:

"A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows . . . But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health . . . Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public 'doesn't know how to interpret the information' and might be unduly alarmed."

Yes, let's just let the experts tell us what to think. We're too dumb to interpret information that says we might be drinking mood stabilizers and sex hormones in our tap water.

The Philadelphia Water Department assures us, however, "Since the Safe Drinking Water Act was passed more than 25 years ago, Philadelphia?s unblemished record for drinking water quality has consistently met or has out-performed all physical, chemical, radiological and bacterial water quality standards established by the EPA."

Looks like they may have overloooked a few things. The AP water study finds, among other scary things:

"Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems. Sixty-three pharmaceuticals or byproducts were found in the city's watersheds."


And here I've been telling my room-mate not to give her money to Coke and Pepsi for their bottled water. But then again, all that bottled water is just re-purified municiple water anyway. What to do?

The Inquirer reported back in Nov. of last year that:

"Bottled water, once an icon of a healthy lifestyle, has become a pariah, the environmentally incorrect humvee of beverages . . . Throughout the region, tap water is getting a boost from college events and eco-campaigns. At least one restaurant is about to banish bottled water, even as another celebrates it with 42 selections. Bottled water - a $10.9-billion-a-year industry in the United States - has even emerged as a moral issue, a peace issue."

I guess if you have "pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness [or] heart problems," in Philly, you might be in luck, save some money, but for the rest of us . . .


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