[Pharmwaste] FW: OH MY - For Medication Disposal, New Advice Is Trash BeatsTake-Back

Stevan Gressitt gressitt at gmail.com
Fri May 18 14:07:32 EDT 2012


I wonder if they included the different efficiency factor of dropping in
the mailbox...

On Fri, May 18, 2012 at 1:54 PM, Volkman, Jennifer (MPCA) <
jennifer.volkman at state.mn.us> wrote:

>  Discussion is good.
> I don't know if it has been peer-reviewed and whether they took into
> account everything we've all looked at. If collection is at a pharmacy that
> someone is going to already to pick up refills or other items, I don't see
> how the emissions factor in there. Most law enforcement collection points
> are located in population centers that people travel to as well. I could
> see that some people might just make one direct trip, but most people run a
> string of errands and naturally plan out a route that wouldn't seem to add
> significantly to emissions.
>
>  Growing up outside a small town, there were times where you went to town
> for a carton of milk if you really needed it, but generally we'd go to the
> store, post office, gas station, bakery, pharmacy and, hopefully, the Dairy
> Queen. Still do, even though I'm in a larger town.
>
>  If law enforcement and pharmacies are already properly managing their
> waste or confiscated drugs, the amounts collected by take back just add to
> the outbound shipment already going for incineration.
>
>  But I do always appreciate a study that looks at the carbon footprint,
> so I'm looking forward to reading the details.
>
>  ------------------------------
> *From:* pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [
> pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] on behalf of Fredrick L. Miller
> [millerfl at tricity.wsu.edu]
> *Sent:* Friday, May 18, 2012 12:48 PM
> *To:* pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
> *Subject:* RE: [Pharmwaste] FW: OH MY - For Medication Disposal, New
> Advice Is Trash BeatsTake-Back
>
>   Sorry for using the wrong address, Laurie.  I’ll try to keep it
> straight in the future.
>
>
>
> I realize my position isn’t plain vanilla and may draw a little
> push-back.  I take sole responsibility for it and ask that any who have
> strong feelings about the matter please feel free to contact me via the
> list or in private.  I don’t take negative or opposing feedback personally
> or lightly.  I’ve been known to learn from it when people find holes in my
> logic or knowledge.  After all, if all we consumed was our own product how
> would we learn and grow?
>
>
>
> Fred
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:
> pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] *On Behalf Of *Tenace, Laurie
> *Sent:* Friday, May 18, 2012 10:06 AM
> *To:* pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
> *Subject:* [Pharmwaste] FW: OH MY - For Medication Disposal, New Advice
> Is Trash BeatsTake-Back
>
>
>
> Please note that Fred Miller’s email did not originate with me – Laurie
>
>
>
>
>
>
>
> *Please take a few minutes to share your comments on the service you
> received from the department by clicking on this link DEP Customer Survey<http://survey.dep.state.fl.us/?refemail=Laurie.Tenace@dep.state.fl.us>
> .*
>
> *From:* Fredrick L. Miller [mailto:millerfl at tricity.wsu.edu]
> *Sent:* Friday, May 18, 2012 12:29 PM
> *To:* pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
> *Subject:* RE: OH MY - For Medication Disposal, New Advice Is Trash Beats
> Take-Back
>
>
>
> As an environmental management practitioner I have no problem with
> landfilling pharmaceuticals in cells constructed to modern standards.  By
> the time they make their way through the biological and chemical processes
> going on in the landfill itself and the leachate collection/treatment
> system it’s at least as well degraded as in many of the thermal treatment
> options (waste to energy and other non-RCRA permitted burners).  The UM
> study is a good start at examining the costs, both fiscal and
> environmental, of take-back programs but its limited scope precludes full
> examination of the problem.  I must say their work is a great start to
> launching a rational discussion of the problem rather than simply
> continuing down the knee-jerk path to take-back.  Let’s not let the
> bureaucrats promulgate regulations the normal way but rather use our brains
> and voices to influence the outcome this time ‘round.
>
>
>
> http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/nonhaz/municipal/landfill.htm
>
>
>
> Fred Miller
>
> USTUR
>
>
>
>
>
> *From:* pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [
> mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us<pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us>]
> *On Behalf Of *Lotzer Donna M
> *Sent:* Friday, May 18, 2012 8:45 AM
> *To:* Lotzer Donna M
> *Subject:* [Pharmwaste] OH MY - For Medication Disposal, New Advice Is
> Trash Beats Take-Back
>
>
>
>
>
> 18 May 2012
>
> Returning extra medicine to the pharmacy for disposal might not be worth
> the extra time, money or greenhouse gas emissions, according to a
> University of Michigan study that is the first to look at the net effects
> of so-called take-back programs. The new evidence suggests that discarding
> unused drugs in the trash is a better option to limit the risk of poisoning
> and at the same time curb pollution of both water and air.
>
> To arrive at this conclusion, the researchers compared the total emissions
> created by take-back, trash and toilet disposal methods. This included
> emissions of pharmaceutical active ingredients as well as releases of other
> water and air pollutants. "National policy seems to be changing to support
> take-back programs, and we don't know if that's justified," said Sherri
> Cook, a doctoral student in the U-M Department of Civil and Environmental
> Engineering. Cook is first author of a paper on the findings published in
> Environmental Science & Technology.
>
> U.S. households accumulate an estimated 200 million pounds of unused
> pharmaceuticals every year, the researchers say. In most cases today, the
> FDA recommends throwing them away, but only if you don't have access to a
> take-back program. Cities, states and even some stores have initiated them.
> From collection sites, the returned drugs are transferred to another
> facility where they're incinerated as hazardous waste.
>
> Health officials caution that unused pills should be out of the house as
> soon as possible to prevent poisoning and drug abuse by other family
> members. But that need must be balanced with pollution control, both for
> human health and environmental reasons. Flushing unused pills down the
> toilet is no longer advised, as the active ingredients in drugs have been
> found in drinking water and aquatic environments.
>
> The new study found:
>
> *       If half of people threw away unused medications and half took them
> back to the drug store, the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredients in
> the environment would be reduced by 93 percent compared with today.
>
> *       If everyone trashed their extra drugs, those amounts would be
> reduced by 88 percent.
> *       That 5 percent improvement in pharmaceutical emission reduction
> due to take-back programs would come at a significant cost, possibly more
> than a billion dollars annually, along with a 300 percent increase in other
> emissions such as greenhouse gases and smog-forming substances.
>
> "Nobody has ever added up all the emissions associated with disposing of
> medication," said Steve Skerlos, a professor in the departments of
> Mechanical Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering and a
> co-author of the study. "When you look at the available evidence to support
> take-back, it just doesn't add up." The researchers focused on a 50 percent
> take-back compliance rate based on actual practice in Sweden, which has had
> a national take-back program for 40 years. The compliance rate there is
> just 43 percent. Drugs that aren't returned tend to stay in the medicine
> cabinet, defeating the goal of getting unused medications out of the home
> quickly, the researchers say.
>
> The U-M researchers considered a wide range of factors, including how
> often people would return medication, how far they live from take-back
> sites, how rainfall might affect landfill leachate leaking into
> groundwater, and what percentage of residents could be expected to comply.
> The results surprised the team. "We didn't expect that landfilling would be
> the best option, because when you incinerate something, it's gone, and when
> it's in a landfill, it can remain for some time," said Nancy Love, a
> professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a
> co-author of the study. "However, once we considered all the environmental
> emissions for the three options, the results made sense."
>
> The researchers encourage policymakers to focus on getting more people to
> get rid of medicines by trash, rather than take-back. "Trashing unused
> medications reduces the consumer's inconvenience relative to take-back, and
> if there is a clear message perhaps we could increase the percentage of
> people putting them in the trash," Cook said. Currently, about 60 percent
> of people already use trash disposal, while 40 percent of people still
> flush unused medication down the toilet. When discarding pills in the
> trash, the FDA recommends mixing them with an unpalatable substance such as
> coffee grounds in a plastic bag. This helps to deter would-be abusers from
> picking them out of the garbage.
>
> References:
> The paper is titled, "Life Cycle Comparison of Environmental Emissions
> from Three Disposal Options for Unused Pharmaceuticals."
>
> University of Michigan <http://www.umich.edu/>
>
> *Donna Lotzer, Senior Clinical Pharmacist*
> *Poison Education Coordinator*
> *University of WI Hospital & Clinics*
> *Poison Prevention & Education Center*
> *600 Highland Avenue, MC # 9475*
> *Madison, WI 53792*
> *dlotzer at uwhealth.org* <dlotzer at uwhealth.org>
> *Phone: 608-265-8160*
>
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>


-- 
Stevan Gressitt, M.D., D.F.A.P.A.
Faculty Associate, University of Maine Center on Aging
Academic Member, Athens Institute for Education and Research
Athens, Greece
Founding Director, International Institute for Pharmaceutical Safety
University of New England, College of Pharmacy
Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences
Associate Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine
314 Clark Road
Unity, Maine, 04988
gressitt at gmail.com
Cell: 207-441-0291
www.benzos.une.edu
www.safemeddisposal.com
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