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Antibiotics & the Water Supply March 11, 2008

Posted by makingyourdashcount in antibiotics, EPA, evolution, pathogens, water supply.
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Our pill popping society has infected our water supply with the same antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones that our doctors carefully prescribe to their patients. Bodily discharges combined with unused pills flushed through the system, have filtered into our water supply with alarming test results. AP found containments in our local Ohio water supply, as well as the water supply of 40 million other Americans. “Tests in Columbus found 5 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water and 15 in the city’s watersheds,” according the AP report.

So why is this important?

Our daughter, Sarah, died 3.5 years ago after suddenly going into septic shock. Although under a microscope for an entire year, the “why” she died was never conclusive. Whether it was a systemic problem or a pathogen was never proven. What I do know, is that Children’s Hospital pulled out the big antibiotic guns to try and kill whatever it was that was attacking her. They did not work.

As antibiotics infiltrate society and now water supplies, the pathogens that antibiotics used to kill have evolve to survival. In the meat and eggs we eat to the water we drink, our society’s antibiotics are losing their effectiveness, because we consume them regularly as well as take them, as prescribed. The pathogens they used to easily kill are mutating to superbugs, as seen in this CBS Report.

So what is a society to do?

As doctors have become more prudent in their prescribing of these medications, patients need to take all medication prescribe, as directed.

We need to dispose of left over, unused pills in our landfills, (experts suggest mixing them with coffee grounds,) where they will leach more slowly into the land rather than directly flushing them into our water supply.

Consumers need to be more prudent in the eggs, meat and milk we buy supporting farmers who do not depend on drugs to deliver their products to market.

These steps may seem small, but they may protect the next generation from losing to the antibiotics of last resort.