Pharmaceutical products routinely enter the ecosystem, altering the behavior of fish and tainting the drinking water supplies of 40 million Americans. To help cut back on that contamination, The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD) is participating in a national drug “take-back” event, inviting Chicagoans to anonymously dispose of their unused and unwanted medication.
People often assume that the best way to dispose of unused pharmaceuticals is to flush them down the toilet or pour them down the drain. But the EPA and FDA backed off this recommendation. Medicines are among the thousands of “chemicals of emerging concern” in our drinking water that the EPA and scientists now monitor. Jerome McDonnell and Kate Sackman from the EcoMyths Alliance discuss flushing medicines with two experts.