Many years ago a study out of
Years later, the USGS routinely measures drugs, or the remnants of drugs flushed after passing through our bodies, or intentionally flushed by folks wanting to discard old or unused drugs. Scientists are increasingly concerned about the impacts of pharmaceuticals not only on aquatic creatures (imagine swimming in a sea of heart medication, pain killers and birth control pills) but in some cases on drinking water.
Now the American Pharmaceuticals Association (APhA) has teamed up with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife service to educate the public about proper drug disposal through a campaign called SMARxT DISPOSAL.
I don’t have the numbers on how much is estimated to come from intentional disposal and how much is excreted, (although either way – giving drugs a proper burial as described in the disposal guidelines has got to be better than ditching them down the tube – and some, they actually suggest you do flush), but it will be interesting to monitor the impact of this program.