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Take heed of California's 'No Drugs Down the Drain' week

Drugs250 Have bottles of old aspirin and prescription drugs cluttering up your medicine cabinet? Don't flush them down the drain or you'll be treating the fish and maybe even spicing up your drinking water.

Testing has shown that even advanced wastewater treatment doesn't cleanse sewage of all traces of pharmaceuticals, which make their way into the environment and drinking water supplies.  Most are excreted by people into sewage systems, but some are tossed directly down the toilet or poured down the drain.

As part of California's "No Drugs Down the Drain" week (Oct. 4-11), officials are suggesting other ways of disposing of unneeded or expired medication. Take it to a local hazardous waste collection site or seal it in a container and put it in the trash.

To discourage scavengers from rummaging through your garbage can for the drugs, Los Angeles County Sanitation Districts engineer Debbie Boadway has a few ideas: Mix it up with coffee grounds, used kitty litter or anything with a "yuck factor."

-- Bettina Boxall   

Photo credit: Los Angeles Times 

Comments () | Archives (5)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Dodger Mark,

when 9 year olds are getting the periods, fish are screwed up, and the water contains minute doses of hormones, it's time to stop flushing them.

that was the answer when I was a kid in nj (20+ years ago) things change, adapt and stop whining.

go play with some mercury if you want to live in the 'good old ignorant days'

I agree. When did this become a problem? Who the hell is flushing drugs down the toilet? Thousands of people? C'mon. I keep reading this article everywhere as SAMSHA has apparently found something else to justify its existence for.

how many people flush old drugs down the toilet (and how often) because they want to prevent people from going through the trash for them? aren't these people going through the trash regularly for staples like food, drink, cardboard? is this really a big deal necessitating an article? i rarely throw drugs away, so do not really get it. you could always just give these drugs to your kids. i heard they really like them.

Judging by the hysterical adoration of Obama,I would say that most drugs are NOT going down the drain.

Check out the Smart Disposal website for more information on disposing of unused medications.


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