I’m sure everyone read about the pharmaceuticals found in rivers (where we get our water) making male fish produce eggs, and other interesting things like that. I recently read information specific to my area:

The Post sent a reporter, and he came back with a list of scary-sounding chemicals that all could be the sort of “endocrine disruptors” causing the hormonal changes seen in these Potomac fish. Here’s some of the potentially dangerous chemicals scientists have found in the Potomac:

* Atrazine, an herbicide commonly used on farm fields.
* Chlorpyrifos, an insecticide.
* Endosulfan, an insecticide.
* Metolachlor, an herbicide.
* Tonalide and galaxolide, two chemicals used to add fragrances to perfumes and soaps.

All of the chemicals scientists have identified above are suspected as being capable of interfering with hormones. And for some reason, the Post has buried this information at the bottom of its story:

The repercussions for human health are also unclear. At the Washington Aqueduct, the agency that turns river water into tap water for the District, Arlington County, Falls Church and parts of Fairfax County, the treatment process is not designed to remove the chemicals.

So to recap, the water we drink from the tap comes from the Potomac River. It’s processed, but it’s not processed to remove these chemicals that are probably causing male fish to start growing eggs. And you can bet your Brita filter doesn’t help on this, either.

In my laundry list of reasons to avoid pharms as much as possible, environmental impact is part of that, which has surprised many people. So learning that we’re slurping down a medly of drugs in our water doesn’t surprise me, not really. It is interesting in that train-wreck sort of way to learn exactly what is out there wreaking havoc.

And so I found it ironic today when I asked the vet how to dispose of the leftover medicine I’ll likely have after Tempest finishes a round of antibiotics from a tooth removal.

“Oh, just throw it in the trash,” they said with a smile.

punting on the river