[Pharmwaste] RE: TN article on DEA collection event

Catherine Zimmer zenllc at usfamily.net
Wed Oct 10 09:45:26 EDT 2012


Hi everyone,

Welcome back to the list serve!  Thanks Laurie!

I would suggest if someone has the time and inclination to respond with an
editorial to clarify.  I agree with you Ed, someone was not clear on the
facts.

Regards,

Catherine Zimmer

 

From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Ed Gottlieb
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 5:43 AM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us; Fredrick L. Miller
Subject: [Pharmwaste] RE: TN article on DEA collection event

 

Fred,

 

I'd say the chances are the reporter misquoted the officer.  I have
certainly been misquoted, sometimes multiple times in the same story.  It is
also possible the officer was repeating something he heard and said
"percent" rather than "parts per million" (or billion.)  However it got
there, it was very likely a mistake rather than a purposeful exaggeration or
the correct reporting of an illegal dump or an industrial disaster. 

 

Ed Gottlieb
Chair, Coalition for Safe Medication Disposal 
Industrial Pretreatment Coordinator 
Ithaca Area Wastewater Treatment Facility
525 3rd Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 273-8381
fax: (607) 273-8433



>>> "Fredrick L. Miller" <millerfl at tricity.wsu.edu> 10/9/2012 5:42 PM >>>
If penicillin (or any other organic contaminate) is present in a drinking
water system at 0.2 percent the system operators are not doing their job
correctly.  It's also an indicator of illegal dumping or an industrial
disaster.  Use of such hyperbole by officials is a hindrance to gaining
credibility with the public.  It's hard to garner support for meaningful
action when officials insist upon exaggerating every problem.

Fred

-----Original Message-----
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Tenace,
Laurie
Sent: Tuesday, October 02, 2012 6:46 AM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] TN article on DEA collection event

Interesting that this article talks about environmental concerns but not
drug diversion - Laurie

http://themountainpress.com/view/full_story/20321841/article--Pounds-of-pill
s-collected--Department-takes-in-drugs-to-decrease-water-contamination-?inst
ance=homeleftlocal_top_stories

Pounds of pills collected: Department takes in drugs to decrease water
contamination

<< >>  The Sevierville Police Department held a Drug Take Back Initiative
from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the police department lobby Saturday.

The initiative is part of the Drug Enforcement Administration's (DEA)
national effort to reduce drugs in the water supply as part of the Emergency
Management Program. Pigeon Forge PD also participated, taking in more than
20 pounds of medications in their event, a representative reported.

"Water systems do not presently have the ability to filter most medications,
because the medications are made to be taken in the body," Lt. Ken Garner of
the Sevierville Police Department said. "Our biggest problem is that they
get into the water system and build up, and you get them in your drinking
water. Knoxville did a test several years ago of their municipal drinking
water just out of the tap. They found measurable traces of lithium and other
narcotics."

Even though the percentage of these drugs in the water system is slight,
Garner explained that even a small increase in a daily intake can be harmful
to the body, especially for those who are prescribed a specific amount of a
drug.

"Or the other way: If penicillin is showing up in your water system at .2
percent, and you're allergic to penicillin, you may not have an initial
reaction, but if it builds up, you may end up having a negative reaction,"
he said.

The Sevierville Police Department has been taking part in the collection of
prescription drugs for almost five years. Two years ago, the DEA asked the
department to become one of its national partners by operating as a drug
collection point.

Through the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), the
state provided the station with a drop box for prescription drugs.

The drop box is available anytime, even when the lobby is closed - dispatch
can buzz people in.

"Some people can't get out on the day we do a take-back, or they can't get
here during the day when we're open in the lobby," Garner said. "So we make
sure it's available to them 24/7."

On the drop box is a listing of all the drugs people can drop off, including
prescription meds, over-the-counter meds, pet meds, and more. The box also
lists drugs that are not allowed.

"Illegal drugs and narcotics are not supposed to be turned in here," Garner
said. "We're not supposed to take illegal drugs. But if they're still
dropped off, we'll still dispose of it."

Garner asks that liquid medications be sealed in leak-proof containers.

"Ones that have been opened are very difficult for us to take," he said. "We
have to find a way to secure them safely before we destroy them."

The department destroys all the drugs by incineration.

Garner said the drop box takes in more and more drugs every year.

"First year total collection was 15 pounds, second year was 40 pounds," he
said. "Right now for 2012, we're looking at 200 pounds by the end of the
year."

Garner said the Drug Take Back Initiative is publicized in the media, which
has contributed to the increase in drugs being dropped off.

"I think that's where we're seeing a lot more of our increase," he said.
"The medication's been there, but people just didn't know. So now they're
seeing a lot more in the media about it, and they're bringing the stuff in."



Read more: The Mountain Press - Pounds of pills collected Department takes
in drugs to decrease water contamination

Laurie Tenace
Environmental Specialist III
Waste Reduction Section
Florida Department of Environmental Protection
2600 Blair Stone Rd., MS 4555
Tallahassee FL 32399-2400
P: 850.245.8759
F: 850.245.8811
Laurie.Tenace at dep.state.fl.us
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