Drugs seeping into Lake Michigan

Apr 15, 2007

Drugs are seeping into the Grand River and Lake Michigan from the Grand Rapids, Mich., sewage treatment plant, a study found.

Scientists found hormones from birth-control pills and anti-seizure medication, the Grand Rapids Press reported. They are more concerned about the effect the chemicals might have on fish and wildlife than on the risk to public health.

Amy Perbeck, a toxicologist with the state Department of Environmental Quality, said male fish elsewhere in the country have been found with female sexual organs.

"The fish are constantly exposed to hormones," Perbeck said.

The study is part of a campaign sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Pharmacists Association to educate the public on the proper disposal of drugs. Drugs flushed down the toilet are likely to end up first in sewage treatment plants and then in rivers and lakes.

Perbeck said drugs found in the tested samples were too diluted to be dangerous. She said, for example, someone would have to drink 17,000 gallons of water to ingest the amount of Ibuprofen in a single pill.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: EPA chief: Climate plan on track despite mercury ruling

Related Stories

Look to overweight for source of U.S. health problems

Mar 18, 2011

U.S. Surgeon General Regina Benjamin came to Berkeley’s Alumni House Thursday to deliver her “vision of a healthy and fit nation.” But the day’s most burning health question, at least in the minds of the ...

Oil spill stirs study, debate over health impacts

Jun 21, 2010

(AP) -- When an Associated Press reporter went scuba diving in the oil-streaked Gulf of Mexico this month, people commenting on websites worried about his health. But at the same time, the oil sure didn't ...

Recommended for you

EPA chief: Climate plan on track despite mercury ruling

9 hours ago

A Supreme Court ruling that undermined a federal rule targeting mercury pollution will not affect the Obama administration's plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to slow the effects of global warming, the head of the Environmental ...

Rubber expansion threatens biodiversity and livelihoods

17 hours ago

Increasing amounts of environmentally valuable and protected land are being cleared for rubber plantations that are economically unsustainable, new research suggests. More widespread monitoring is vital to ...

Timber and construction, a well-matched couple

17 hours ago

The IT 781-13 group (UPV/EHU) has for the last ten years been conducting research into building structures and materials (concrete, steel and timber). According to its latest research, timber is a very light, tough material ...

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.