[Pharmwaste] CNN story on AP Investigation on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

Gina Temple-Rhodes gina.Temple-Rhodes at WLSSD.Duluth.MN.US
Tue Mar 11 12:50:20 EDT 2008

Recall that the ONDCP and the DEA are most concerned with diversion and abuse potential; they are not in the business of environmental regulating or research. Flushing medications does render them "unrecoverable", which is the main goal of those enforcement agencies. 
The research is still quite new on the exact effects of specific drugs when flushed (do they survive the wastewater treatment process, etc etc?). But the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (a wastewater group that my agency belongs to) has written a response letter to the ONDCP, objecting to the flushing advice. 
The answer, listed even on the ONDCP website as an option, is to have legitimate, safe  community collection events (that involve law enforcement officers if controlled substances are involved) for residents to get rid of their medications. 
Gina Temple-Rhodes
Environmental Program Coordinator
Western Lake Superior Sanitary District
Duluth, MN 


From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us on behalf of Boadway, Debra
Sent: Tue 3/11/2008 11:21 AM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] CNN story on AP Investigation on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water

CNN's giving coverage to the story on AP Investigation on Pharmaceuticals in Drinking Water, but is their coverage accurate?   This article has gained much attention.  However, misinformation still abounds.  CNN (Dr. Sanjay Gupta) stated Drugs listed on the Office of National Drug Control Policy web site to be flushed (such as oxycodone, entecavir, Actiq & Daytrana Trandermal Patch) should be flushed because once they dissolve, they are harmless.  I don't believe this is accurate.  Can anybody shed light on the Office of National Drug Control Policy?   I think these drugs still cause environmental harm and misinforming the public may only make things worse.

thank you 

Deborah Boadway 
Project Engineer 
Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts 
Industrial Waste Section 
Phone (562) 908-4288, ext 2914 
Fax (562) 908-4224 
dboadway at lacsd.org 

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