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Drugs In Our Drinking Water

kdawson posted more than 6 years ago | from the you-want-water-with-that dept.

Medicine 483

MikeURL alerts to a AP story just published after a months-long investigation on the vast array of pharmaceuticals present in US drinking water. These include antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers, and sex hormones, as well as over-the-counter drugs. Quoting: "To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe. But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health."

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Mood stabilizers? (5, Funny)

Genocaust (1031046) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694932)

Really? Shit sure doesn't seem to be working on my wife.

Re:Mood stabilizers? (5, Funny)

calebt3 (1098475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695010)

She's dehydrated.

Re:Mood stabilizers? (0, Flamebait)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695026)

He does not make her wet enough?

Re:Mood stabilizers? (5, Funny)

edittard (805475) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695168)

She's dehydrated.
I hate being a spelling nazi, but it's "deflated".

Re:Mood stabilizers? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695216)

No its not idiot. Dehydrated means out of water u fuking moron

Re:Mood stabilizers? (2, Funny)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695056)

Shit sure doesn't seem to be working on my wife.

Why not suggest that she tries mood stabilisers instead, then?

Re:Mood stabilizers? (5, Funny)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695130)

Why not suggest that she tries mood stabilisers instead, then?
Perhaps he enjoys having a penis, and doesn't wish to do anything to jeopardise that.

Re:Mood stabilizers? (3, Funny)

Nefarious Wheel (628136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695284)

Hey, why do you think they call it the Department of Water and Power?

Perspective (5, Interesting)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694948)

I'd like to see the levels present in the average American's blood-stream.

But then.... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695050)

you would have to show how much of it was from drinking the water...

Re:But then.... (3, Insightful)

gnick (1211984) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695086)

you would have to show how much of it was from drinking the water...
My guess is that it would be insignificant. From what I've seen, we (US) are a nation of OTC/prescription junkies...

Re:But then.... (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695200)

My reply was just a bit tongue-in-cheek. :o)

Re:But then.... (5, Funny)

Bloke down the pub (861787) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695264)

That's why I prefer beer - though I heard a rumour it contains female hormones: after you've drunk ten or so, you can't drive and you start talking crap.

Re:Perspective (4, Insightful)

psychodelicacy (1170611) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695096)

Me too. I'd also be interested to know whether these quantities, even if they're far below therapeutic doses, could make drugs less effective when people take them. For example, are antibiotics getting into the water and, if so, might we start to develop immunity even if we've never taken them directly?

Re:Perspective (1)

evilklown (1008863) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695250)

I am curious to know if this may actually be an advantage, helping people that drink said tainted water fend off common illnesses.

Re:Perspective (4, Informative)

MyLongNickName (822545) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695272)

For example, are antibiotics getting into the water and, if so, might we start to develop immunity even if we've never taken them directly?

You do not develop an immunity to antibiotics. Bacteria do. Whether or not you personally get a mini-dose of antibiotics has not bearing on that.

On the other hand, if we are all getting a mini-dose, then those bacteria that are antibiotic resistant will proser all the more. Also consider that it isn't only humans that would be getting these mini-doses.

Yet another example of the "no man is an island" truism.

Re:Perspective (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695176)

I like to think I'm an average America. I'm on two prescription drugs. Tramadol, an opiate-like painkiller, and Xanax, an anti-anxiety drug. I also can get hydrocodone but it actually doesn't work as well for me as the other stuff.

But anyway, I don't see this as a bad thing necessarily. Just the fact that people are taking more medication now than 50 or 100 years ago isn't a problem, because a lot of the diseases and maladies these drugs are treating simply would have went untreated in times before. People didn't have less medical problems back then, they just had no way of getting them fixed. We also recognize things as valid medical problems that once were not, such as depression and anxiety. If pharmaceuticals allow people to live better lives then I'd call that progress.

There are some problems in the system. Medicine probably shouldn't be run as a business in the traditional sense, and over-prescribing of drugs is also a legitimate concern in many cases (and a direct side effect of the first problem).

Re:Perspective (3, Insightful)

Quarters (18322) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695228)

I'm happy you found drugs that work for you. I'm unhappy that you could care less about either the topic at hand or that your drugs are ending up in my drinking water.

Re:Perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695274)

Then you have primarily a water-filtering and sanitation problem that can be fixed with better filters and better water management practices.

Re:Perspective (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695262)

The average American is on painkillers? I must know some seriously unusual people, the vast majority of them aren't.

Re:Perspective (1)

sqrt(2) (786011) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695316)

Not what but how many.

Two prescriptions per person on average does sound about right. I know people with none (like myself), I know people with 8. Also consider that everyone will have a prescription at some point in their lives, it doesn't have to be all the time for everyone for it to still end up in the water. Also, TFS mentions acetaminophen; I'm sure you've taken Tylenol for a headache before.

Re:Perspective (1)

Maxo-Texas (864189) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695398)

Can't link it but they had a show on it recently.

The families on the show were seriously messed up by water.

The host had himself tested and they found about 150 chemicals in his bloodstream- including some things banned 20 years ago.

LSD (4, Funny)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694950)

What! no LSD yet? When will these lazy hippies finally get to it?

Re:LSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695234)

I have made my contribution ;-)

Re:LSD (1)

newr00tic (471568) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695368)

I have made my contribution ;-)
Paul Mc Cartney, is that you?


..does this tea taste funny to you, btw(..?) *BONK*

Simple solution. (0, Flamebait)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694954)

Hello everyone. This is a simple solution for "fixing" this problem - Move upstream!

I have 3000 acres of pure wilderness located at the head of a major river. If you are interested I am selling it off at 1 dollar per square foot.

Have a nice drug-free life there!

Grump

Re:Simple solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694982)

Unless all the pharmaceuticals are in such wide distribution and concentration that they've contaminated the aquifers, too, in which case it won't matter where you live relative to lakes.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

Oktober Sunset (838224) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695108)

only if your water comes from an aquifer, if it comes from a reservoir with nothing up stream, is gunna be pure n fresh.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695020)

$130 Million? Where is it?

Re:Simple solution. (2, Insightful)

CorSci81 (1007499) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695114)

That must be some pretty prime real-estate if you're asking $43,560 per acre.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

Reality Master 101 (179095) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695258)

That must be some pretty prime real-estate if you're asking $43,560 per acre.

Prime? Where do you live that one can get an acre of "prime" real estate for $43K? Around where I live [wikipedia.org] , an acre of crappy real estate (i.e., mostly unusable) is probably $1-2M. A "prime" lot (flat lot, view, nice area) is more like $5-10M.

Re:Simple solution. (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695282)

Actually 43k per acre isn't so bad if you compare it to silicon valley back before the bust. What were people paying then? like a million for a 1/4 acre lot? And alot of the time they would tear down the house and rebuild. Of course, that's silicon valley and not middle of nowhere michigan or wherever I'm selling.

Re:Simple solution. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695292)

This is Slashdot. Which is more likely:
a) he doesn't have a pot to piss in
b) he owns $130 million of real estate

Hmmmm.

RE: Drugs in Our Drinking Water (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694960)

I fail to see the problem. However, what I do see is a pink elephant running across my living room carpet as I write this. The good news is that I am very calm as I know the purple dolphins in my kitchen will protect me.

It's the commies (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694968)

They're corrupting our precious bodily fluids!

Stuart (1, Funny)

mightybaldking (907279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694972)

Who cares what the drugs are doing to are water? I'm more concerned with what the queers are doing to the soil.

Re:Stuart (0, Offtopic)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695052)

Before you dismiss this guy as just another homophobic troll read this;

http://www.plyrics.com/lyrics/deadmilkmen/stuart.html [plyrics.com]

oh, and watch out for that Johnny Werzner kid.

So that Johnny Werzner kid is a Moderator (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695196)

That explains so much.....

burrow owls (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695254)

I, for one, welcome our new burrow owl overlords.

Strange... (-1, Troll)

V!NCENT (1105021) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694974)

It might be far below a medical dose, but the question is: Why are they putting it in drinkwater in the first place?

Re:Strange... (4, Insightful)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695008)

lol, think a bit.

Hints:
1- It not put directly into the drinking water
2- It involves toilets

Re:Strange... (4, Funny)

iknownuttin (1099999) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695352)

The Russians are contaminating our water through their toilets?!

Re:Strange... (1)

perlchild (582235) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695012)

They get thrown out in sewage, and nobody thought of actually filtering those biologically active molecules before putting them in an aqueduct. It just means some engineers need to get cracking for a proper filter, or maybe just fine tuning an existing one.

Re:Strange... (2, Interesting)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695064)

It just means some engineers need to get cracking for a proper filter, or maybe just fine tuning an existing one.
You'd get better results by changing the process [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Strange... (2, Informative)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695034)

It might be far below a medical dose, but the question is: Why are they putting it in drinkwater in the first place?

They're not. The drugs end up in the reprocessing loop because people throw them down the drain or flush them down the toilet, and the filtration systems currently in place don't get rid of all of them. Makes you wonder if bottled water is any better, or if there's any way to filter the water more thoroughly yourself. Would distillation and activated-charcoal filtering do the trick?

Re:Strange... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695120)

Bottled water should be no better considering various reports that, on average, it is no cleaner than tap water. I suppose water bottled in developing countries would be just as "clean," but would have lower trace amounts of medication.

Re:Strange... (1)

McGiraf (196030) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695144)

You do not need to drop pills in the toilet!

It's from the piss from all the legal drug addict the pharmaceutical companies created.

Distillation works (2, Informative)

StupidKatz (467476) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695238)

Distillation [wikipedia.org] is the method which produces the purest drinking water possible, since it involves boiling the water, then recondensing the steam back to water.

The downsides to distillation is that it is expensive in terms of energy, and the crap left behind after distilling lots of water can be difficult to clean out of your distillation vessel.

If you're going to include a charcoal filter, I'd put it before the distiller so you'd have a little less crap to eventually scrape out of your boiling vessel.

Recycling? (1)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695122)

Recycling removes some contaminants, but probably lets quite a few through.

Filtration is set by standards. What isn't legislated probably does not get filtered because of extra cost. They'll be removing ecoli etc, but probably quite a few unregulated contaminants flow through.

Re:Recycling? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695170)

Even if you changed the standards there would still be some level that got through. Perhaps we wouldn't be talking about ppb but instead ppt of contaminants. At some point you have to set a standard so that you don't go down the asymptotic pathway to pure sterilization at infinite cost.

RTFA (1)

mnemonic_ (164550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695152)

How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

Re:Strange... (1)

hazem (472289) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695198)

The article mentions this:
People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.

Of course, this doesn't even cover people discarding left over pills in the toilet.

Really, it's just another example of a multi-billion dollar industry making huge profits while not being responsible for the waste stream they create.

Then again, I'm sure they can just make a pill for all of us to take on a daily basis that will neutralize the effects of all these other drugs in our water supply.

Explains increased cancer cases (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694984)

So that would explain the increased cancer cases in the past tens of years.

Apply directly to the drinking water (4, Funny)

Dachannien (617929) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694986)

Just think of the consequences if homeopathic remedies - which are supposed to work better with minuscule quantities of an "active" ingredient - get into our drinking water, too?

Re:Apply directly to the drinking water (5, Insightful)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695060)

Just think of the consequences if homeopathic remedies - which are supposed to work better with minuscule quantities of an "active" ingredient - get into our drinking water, too?

Just think of the consequences if homeopathy actually worked.

Re:Apply directly to the drinking water (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695068)

Why, a single drop could contaminate the entire world's supply!

Someone call the President!

Re:Apply directly to the drinking water (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695188)

You did hear the one about the homeopathic 'doctor' who forgot to take his treatment didn't you?

He died of an overdose...

Re:Apply directly to the drinking water (2, Funny)

zippthorne (748122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695344)

That's why it's there. You have to set the baseline level so that you don't accidentally dilute the treatment into dangerous over-potency.

That's not pollution (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22694992)

That's free homeopathy.

Tap Water vs Bottled Water (5, Insightful)

religious freak (1005821) | more than 6 years ago | (#22694994)

Whenever I hear folks talking on the subject of bottled water vs. tap water, or water quality in general, I'm reminded of a study (which I'm too lazy to look up) conducted by a network news show a few years back. Turned out that bottled water was much less sanitary and clean than tap water.

Why? Because tap water has teams of people objectively surveying its quality, unmotivated by profit. And bottled water has very little regulation, at least when measured against the regulation required around tap water.

I, for one, drink either tap water or filtered tap water. These bottled water companies can take a hike, as far as I'm concerned.

Re:Tap Water vs Bottled Water (4, Informative)

Xelios (822510) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695178)

When I hear folks talking on the subject of bottled water vs. tap water I mention Calgary, Alberta. Calgary has very good tap water taken from two rivers that run through it, and Coca-Cola has a large bottling plant there. Anyone want to guess where Dasani bottled water comes from? That's right, out of the taps in Calgary and Brampton, ON.

I'm sure it doesn't supply all of the water Coca-Cola uses for Dasani, but it goes to show what a ripoff bottled water can be, and usually is.

Re:Tap Water vs Bottled Water (1)

francisstp (1137345) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695268)

Are you saying you and people in general are more demanding of "free" stuff than stuff you actually pay for out of pocket?

Re:Tap Water vs Bottled Water (1)

MBCook (132727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695306)

Reminds me of the song Pollution by Tom Lehrer. Great song. Relevant lines, right near the end:

Remember the garbage you throw into the bay...
They drink at lunch in San Jose

So go to the city, see the crazy people there.
Like lambs to the slaugher... they're drinking the water
And breathing... the air (*cough*)

Hooray! (4, Funny)

EggyToast (858951) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695002)

According to supporters of Homeopathy, we'll all become incredibly healthy thanks to this!

Ya mean the tap water? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695016)

Living in SoCal, I wouldn't drink that Colorado river piss anyhow. Do people really drink tapwater anymore?

FFS... PPB? (2, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695030)

And what will they worry about when we can measure parts per trillion?

 

Answer (4, Informative)

zymano (581466) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695036)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carbon_filtering [wikipedia.org]

Also informing people that what goes down the toilet goes in your drinking water.

Water? Like in the toilet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695092)

Well, I've never seen no plants grow in the toilet.

Re:Answer (0)

AngelofDeath-02 (550129) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695232)

I'm under the impression that toilet bowl water is considered "waste water" and is handled differently than drinking water.

However, urinating in the shower does disrupt the system...

It has been years since I did my school report on this (something like 8th grade?) but at the very least, they treat the two groups of water differently... Though I vaguely remember that they do something else with waste water than use it as drinking water. I could be wrong, though.

Re:Answer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695330)

So you are telling me there are two sewer systems? One connected to your toilet and one connected to your shower and sink? I guess you've never looked at a house before the drywall was up? There is only one such system and they both go to the same place; waste water treatment plant.

Are you fucking kidding me?! (4, Interesting)

n dot l (1099033) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695038)

From TFA:

How do the drugs get into the water?

People take pills. Their bodies absorb some of the medication, but the rest of it passes through and is flushed down the toilet. The wastewater is treated before it is discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes. Then, some of the water is cleansed again at drinking water treatment plants and piped to consumers. But most treatments do not remove all drug residue.
That's just ridiculous, when you think about the number of "X milligram of ingredient Y" pills people must be taking for detectable amounts to be showing up in drinking water after being diluted and filtered that many times. Is the average American really on that many drugs? Or are these water companies just really bad at keeping sewage out of people's taps?

Hrm. I wonder how this compares to other developed nations...

Same thing in France (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695340)

The same problems were revealed in France last year.
As a funny detail, in some rivers, all fish showed female features (whatever their real gender was) due to the hormones coming from the sewages.
Here's an article (in french) on the subject : http://www.acme-eau.org/Le-medicament,-du-malade-a-l-eau-potable_a1040.html [acme-eau.org]
It's not so good but I'm too lazy to find another one (I doubt many of you understand french anyway, and google translate is just, well...)
I guess the problem must be exactly the same in every big city.

Meat hormones (2, Interesting)

shadowofwind (1209890) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695040)

would seem to be a much bigger problem for most of us.

And if you're vegetarian, the metal-laden mining tailings that are commonly used as fertilizer can't be a good thing.

False positives? (2, Insightful)

Hektor_Troy (262592) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695058)

What kind of effect will this have on drug tests? Mythbusters and Brainiac both showed that poppy seeds from regular bread will trigger a positive drug test for opiates I think.

With amphetamines etc. in the drinking water, what will that do for drug tests on otherwise clean people?

Re:False positives? (4, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695148)

No. This story has been around for awhile and it drives me crazy. We're talking about quantities like 3 parts per trillion on most drugs. It is far far below (many orders of magnitude!) the point at which it would do anything to you, yet so many people seem to nearly panic at the idea of drugs in the water.

I'm just waiting for the study on air to come out.

three questions (5, Funny)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695066)

What drugs?

What water supplies?

And how can I buy some of the water?

YAAAYYYYY!!!! (0, Redundant)

Maestro485 (1166937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695080)

Let me be the first one to welcome our free-drug distributing overlords!

Those proportions sound about right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22695082)

given that water is $0.005 per galon

A non-issue! (5, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695100)

Even cyanide will not significantly affect you in proportions of a few parts per billion. You get a lot more than that from a handful of almonds. As for parts per trillion... just forget it. It isn't worth bothering about.

If you want something to worry about, then start worrying about the antibiotics and growth hormones used in cattle and chickens. That is something real, with documented effects.

Re:A non-issue! (1)

Shados (741919) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695182)

Hey hey...part per trillions are POWERFUL! Ever heard of homeopathy?! ::cough:: /sarcasm

Re:A non-issue! (3, Interesting)

Cadallin (863437) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695372)

This is a definite problem. Our detection technologies are getting damn good. We can reliably detect single molecules in a lot of cases. So how do we deal with that? Sure it sounds good to say 0 parts per trillion of cyanide in drinking water, but what does it mean to accomplish it?

And all of this is muddying the water (har har) and distracting us from other, possibly more pressing concerns like hormones and antibiotic content of industrially produced food. You make a bloody good point, and its something I've worried about for a good while, worried about it because there are peer reviewed studies indicating that it is real, and the effects it has are definitely detectable. Even anecdotally, its starting to concern many (very poorly educated) people in my community when they observe that their 10 and 12 year old daughters are in the advanced stages of puberty. That's becoming the norm, when a century ago it would have been all but unheard of. Even as an anecdotal observation, its causing a significant number of concerned parents.

I wish we had a political candidate who was talking about these things. He or She would be buried by Corporate Agriculture for even mentioning it, but just the mention would bring it to the fore of the political consciousness. I think there are vast areas where such concerns and pledges would poll very well, and that gets politician's attention.

Concentration comparison (1)

call-me-kenneth (1249496) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695102)

C'mon, those are concentrations that would shame a homeopathist [wikipedia.org] . Let's get some perspective here. I think the forthcoming loss of the GIS and WAIS, and subsequent 15m sea-level rise and contingent collapse of human civilisation is a more pressing concern, no?

Not really news (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695116)

In the Netherlands this is known for years. I believe that here Prozac is the drug that is most found in the water.

Contraceptives in the rain. (4, Interesting)

infonography (566403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695118)

"There you go. I can taste it. Estrogen. Definitely estrogen. You take the Pill, flush it away, it enters the water cycle, feminizes the fish it goes all the way up into the sky, and then falls all the way back down on to me. Contraceptives in the rain. Love this planet. Still, at least I won't get pregnant. Never doing that again."
---Captain Jack Harkness.
                  TORCHWOOD 1X01: EVERYTHING CHANGES

Precious bodily fluids (1)

0xC0FFEE (763100) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695138)

It's obviously the handy work of the commies.

POE (2, Interesting)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695202)

Just goes to show that General Ripper was right.

What's the biodegradability of this stuff? All we need is some modern version of DDT, working its way up the food chain.

Re:POE (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695308)

That's OPE. But anyway, we don't want to start a nuclear flame war unless we really have to.

More misleading 'news' about 'drugs' (4, Interesting)

Simonetta (207550) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695242)

This is another perfect example about how new media can't understand technology.

    In this case, the technology is advanced chemical analysis machines that can detect trace amounts of drugs.
In fact, it can detect trace amounts of whatever chemical it happens to be programmed to find if the trace amounts are present.
The key word here is trace, as in a few hundred thousand or less Molecules.

    But give these jokers the opportunity to combine the words 'detect' and 'drugs', and they turn into self-righteous raving lunatics predicting the end of civilization and, by implication of the word 'drugs', millions of crazed niggers and hippies running amok, which is what the word 'drugs' means to the media fear mongers.

    Since the level of the trace amounts detected is so far below the effective medical dose to have any effect on human behavior or physiology, then why are they reporting it as if it were some kind of imminent problem?

    And, what, pray tell, is exactly so new about this situation? These trace amounts of (oh, horrors!) 'drugs' seem to have always been in the environment. What's new is not their presence, it's the ability to detect molecular levels of them.

    But the news media is presenting this as a warning that some terrible thing is about to happen. But it's not. This is a non-story being 'fear amplified' by the news media who are extremely limited in the real stories that they are allowed to cover by their corporate owners. So they just pander to vague fears.

    To hell with them. They are not professionals anymore, nor do they have anything resembling credibility left.

    And I am all so sick and tired of normal healthy productive people being fired from their jobs just because molecular trace amounts of 'drugs' turn up in the body fluids that they have been forced to surrender against the 4th and 5th ammendment of the US constitution that we are suspossed to live under in the USA.

    So you invented a machine that can 'prove' that someone smoked weed a month ago and therefore you can legally use this 'evidence' as an excuse to destroy their life? Well, fuck you and your machine. You are an asshole and a fascist and you are not doing your company, your people, or your country any favors by pretending otherwise.

    Have a nice day!

Re:More misleading 'news' about 'drugs' (1)

Detritus (11846) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695300)

Forget to take your meds?

Re:More misleading 'news' about 'drugs' (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695312)

In this case, I think the story is perfectly reasonable.

Our bodies may shrug off a relatively big one-time dose, yet suffer from a smaller amount delivered continuously over a half century, perhaps subtly stirring allergies or nerve damage. Pregnant women, the elderly and the very ill might be more sensitive.
Half a century is a long time. The real problem is the people who would read that and start panicking.

Parepin in water? It's more likely than you think (2, Interesting)

Bushido Hacks (788211) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695252)

Oh the fun things [wikipedia.org] that are in the water.

And to think, I never got the chance to be part of the A.R.G.
It turns out We are living it.

On a side note, this is old news. I've seen it several times. It is news to sell water filtration systems which block out heavy metals like mercury and lead, but have no effect whatsoever in filtering out all the lithium and all the other drugs [youtube.com] which don't contain heavy metals. (What kind of idiot would make you want to swallow medicine with lead or mercury in it?)

Next we will here about how there are GERMS [youtube.com] in the water.

Don't drink the water (4, Funny)

Slackhead (953613) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695266)

Years ago most drinking water in towns was too bad to drink unless you lived in the country near to a good spring. Hence the invention of beer. My advice is stop drinking water and just go for beer, wine and spirits instead.

POE (1)

Yvanhoe (564877) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695280)

Purity Of Essence
Peace On Earth

Damn Russians and their evil water contamination schemes !
Send the nuuuuukes (and you should stop worrying about the Bomb)

Medicines for Mental Illness (2, Insightful)

LecheryJesus (1245812) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695304)

From TFA:

Officials in Philadelphia said testing there discovered 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water, including medicines for pain, infection, high cholesterol, asthma, epilepsy, mental illness and heart problems.


Now we know how the theory of "Intelligent Design" has gained the amount of acceptance that it has.

Hint: Its not a Troll when its true.

Full circle (3, Interesting)

ericthughes (1015253) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695310)

Rejoice! just as it was in the Middle Ages, soon we all will drink nothing but beer.

What about other sources? (3, Interesting)

ChilyWily (162187) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695320)

Sure, this is concerning to me because of how long all these chemicals survive and re-enter the water supply. Perhaps, this isn't even new News (fish on birth control -see here [nwsource.com] ), but what concerns me is what about the other stuff that we introduce into our food/water supplies that is at higher concentrations? e.g., bovine hormones.

Precious bodily fluids (2, Funny)

Nimey (114278) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695328)

General Jack D. Ripper: Mandrake, do you realize that in addition to fluoridating water, why, there are studies underway to fluoridate salt, flour, fruit juices, soup, sugar, milk... ice cream. Ice cream, Mandrake, children's ice cream.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Lord, Jack.

General Jack D. Ripper: You know when fluoridation first began?

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: I... no, no. I don't, Jack.

General Jack D. Ripper: Nineteen hundred and forty-six. Nineteen forty-six, Mandrake. How does that coincide with your post-war Commie conspiracy, huh? It's incredibly obvious, isn't it? A foreign substance is introduced into our precious bodily fluids without the knowledge of the individual. Certainly without any choice. That's the way your hard-core Commie works.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Uh, Jack, Jack, listen, tell me, tell me, Jack. When did you first... become... well, develop this theory?

General Jack D. Ripper: Well, I, uh... I... I... first became aware of it, Mandrake, during the physical act of love.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.

General Jack D. Ripper: Yes, a uh, a profound sense of fatigue... a feeling of emptiness followed. Luckily I... I was able to interpret these feelings correctly. Loss of essence.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: Hmm.

General Jack D. Ripper: I can assure you it has not recurred, Mandrake. Women uh... women sense my power and they seek the life essence. I, uh... I do not avoid women, Mandrake.

Group Capt. Lionel Mandrake: No.

General Jack D. Ripper: But I... I do deny them my essence.

Fear mongering at its finest.... (5, Informative)

LynnwoodRooster (966895) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695336)

To put 1 part per trillion into perspective...

Imagine hiking up into the woods, and coming across a pristine lake. The lake is 6 meters deep, and 170 meters in diameter. Into this lake you toss a single, 100 milligram aspirin tablet.

You have now polluted the lake with aspirin at 1 part per trillion.

This is fear-mongering at its finest. Why, we have DRUGS and COMPOUNDS and CHEMICALS in our water! We simply MUST pass MORE LAWS and INCREASE TAXES to purify your drinking water! You could be getting LETHAL DOSES of DRUGS if we don't do SOMETHING! And for those of you living on private property, well we HAVE TO CONTROL what you can do on your property EVEN BEYOND what's done now, because you could be polluting the aquifer by simply dropping a single aspirin tablet on to your lawn!

Never mind you'd have to drink a few million liters of water to even get 1 milligram of the drug...

This comment takes the cake (1)

klipsch_gmx (737375) | more than 6 years ago | (#22695380)

Arlington, Texas, acknowledged that traces of a pharmaceutical were detected in its drinking water but cited post-9/11 security concerns in refusing to identify the drug.
Look. WHAT!??! What does 9/11 have to do with traces of LEGAL drugs found in drinking water??
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