Elixer of Life

There have been reports lately about prescription drugs being found in our drinking water. The levels are relatively low, so no flares were sent up by the EPA. It is somewhat like the lead in toys from China: probably been there for some time, just not looked for until now. The source of industrial pollution is somewhat easy to discover: air monitoring at an indistrial site, checking the effluent from a plant, looking for seepage from underground tanks are all standard procedues for state and the federal EPA/DoEP. But, where do these drugs come from? Well, as I once pointed out to a friend, individual humans are a terrible source of pollution. [Imagine the formaldehyde from cemetaries, not to mention the plutonium in buried pacemakers because we didn't want to desecrate poor aunt Myrtle.] We excrete both unused drug entities and metabolies continuously. Multiply what we excrete by millions and you see where we are. The problem is made more difficult by the huge number of chemicals, all physiologically active, we need to screen for in drinking water. Literally thousands of chemicals, not to mention industrial chemicals, need to be discovered and removed from or water supply. This will not be fast or inexpensive. New and better ways are going to be needed to bring our water back to where it is, once more, the elixer of life....and we can once again recommend drinking at least 6 glasses a day. Bottled water is suggested as an answer to the pollution by drugs (by bottled water sellers, obviously). One minor problem with that idea: most commercial bottled water comes from the same municipal sources we all use right now. Obvioulsy, merely passing it through charcoal doesn't work, since that what many municipalities already do! (Forget for a minute the benzene found in Perrier a few years ago: that was an industrial accident.) So the water bottlers want you to believe that paying $20/gallon for their water, pumped from the same sources you are already drinking makes them any safer? To answer Agnes' blog (On Pharma) question: Evian spelled backwards is Naive...what the bottled water people hope you are! Me? I'll stay with single malt whiskey for now. (After all, "whiskey" is an Irish word for water of life, anyway ;-D)