The big story of a few weeks ago has prompted a rush to test the water in many metropolitan areas for pharmaceuticals. It is nice to see such immediate action, but I wonder what the ultimate solution will be. It is important to know what is in the water, but unless it can be filtered out, millions of people will continue to be exposed.
Here is an excerpt from a recent Chicago Tribune article:
“Chicago officials have never tested the city and suburban water supply for pharmaceuticals and other unregulated chemicals, even as concern grows about the possible health effects of trace amounts of drugs in drinking water. So the Tribune and RedEye did the testing the city won’t do.
The newspapers hired an independent lab, which found tiny amounts of an anti-seizure drug, a common pain-killer, caffeine and two chemicals used to make Teflon and Scotchgard in samples taken from a water supply that serves 7 million people.”
The rest of the article can be read here. It is interesting that they found the chemical from Teflon in the water. As I wrote in this post, I stopped cooking on Teflon pans because of concern about the Teflon related chemicals. It appears that when people wash their Teflon pans, the chemical is getting into the sewer system and then into drinking water.
So perhaps you are reducing your exposure to the chemical by not cooking with the coated pans. But if you drink tap water, you might pick up trace amounts that way. Still, eliminating cooking with the pans would probable reduce the bulk of your consumption of this chemical. And that is what managing your health is all about. Control what you can without serious inconvenience, and don’t stay awake at night worrying about what you can’t control.
By bringing issues like this to the public eye, maybe those who are in a position to address fixes to this type of contamination will be able to justify spending the time to do just that.