How Do Pharmaceutical Drugs Get in Drinking Water?

First of all, it’s a fact: many prescription drugs, plus over-the-counter drugs, have been found in public water supplies serving millions, virtually all over the United States and Europe.

The New York Times and the Associated Press have both reported on these findings in recent months, with widely printed, broadcast and webcast stories carrying headlines like, “Probe finds drugs in drinking water.”

Part of the problem is hospitals, pharmacies, clinics and doctor’s offices washing out-of-date or unwanted drugs down drains. Leaky septic tanks are another suggested source. Some 40 percent of antibiotics manufactured in America are fed to livestock as a growth stimulant, and manure from these animals is another likely source of drugs in drinking water. A small part may come from manufacturing plants, but these are the only potential sources that are carefully monitored.

Finally, you and I are a major cause of the problem.

Pharmaceutical drugs get in drinking water when people on medication go to the toilet: they excrete drugs not fully absorbed by the body, plus metabolized byproducts. Also, many people dispose of unwanted drugs by flushing them down the toilet.

Water companies treat the waste before discharging it into rivers, lakes and reservoirs, and then treat it again before it enters our drinking water supplies. But our water treatment plants were never designed to remove drugs from our drinking water; they are designed to get rid of disease germs, odors, and long-known hazards like lead and PCBs. Not surprisingly, these water treatments don’t remove all traces of drugs.

Amount of drugs is small, but is it safe?

The amount of pharmaceutical drugs in drinking water is nearly always very small, usually measured in parts per billion. But many different drugs have been found in public water supplies, in endless combinations. And we drink the water year after year. No one really knows whether it’s safe to do so.

“We recognize it is a growing concern and we’re taking it very seriously.”
said Benjamin H. Grumbles, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) assistant administrator for water.

What are these drugs?

Here are a few:

Anti-epileptic drugs and tranquilizers found in Southern California; a sex hormone in San Francisco; antibiotics and other medications in Tucson, Arizona; pharmaceutical drugs for pain, infection, cholesterol control, asthma and heart conditions in Philadelphia; carbamazepine, a mood stabilizer, and a metabolized byproduct of angina medication in Northern New Jersey.

It’s not just public water systems that suffer from drugs in drinking water. Pharmaceutical drugs have been found in private wells, too. Bottled water is also affected. Bottlers do not test or treat for pharmaceuticals, and 40 percent of bottled water is just repackage tap water.

The good news: You can take practical, cost-effective action

Here are some reasonable things you can do:

1. Avoid bottled water. At a cost ranging from just under a dollar up to $10 a gallon, it’s the world’s most expensive answer to pharmaceutical drugs found in drinking water. More than 80 percent of the bottles end up in landfills; chemicals leach from the plastic bottle into the water and may affect our health; and the petroleum used would fuel about 100,000 cars each year. Even then, it’s not a solution: nearly half is just bottled tap water, as noted above.

2. Don’t flush unneeded drugs down the toilet. If possible, treat them as you would unused paint or household chemicals and turn them into a local center to be disposed of, often by incineration. At worst, wrap them up and put them in the garbage.

3. Don’t use deodorants or other personal care items containing the antibiotic triclosan.

4. Consider organic meats, raised without a diet of antibiotics.

5. Consider a quality home water filter, then bottle your own water if you wish. Use a glass container or one of a few water bottles on the market that aren’t plastic.

Pharmacy Technician Test For Your Competency Evaluation

The Pharmacy Technician Test has been prepared to assess the competency evaluation of a Pharmacy Technician. The test also evaluates the working quality of a Pharmacy Technician in actual working in pharmacy settings. Certification is awarded to the passing candidate. But, why Pharmacy test and Certification are essential for a Pharmacy personnel and how they will be benefited by earning the certification?

In order to answer these questions, it is necessary to gain knowledge about Pharmacy Technicians. Pharmacy professionals are well trained in pharmacy field and they assist the Pharmacist by performing various pharmacy related works. It is their duty to help pharmacist in preparation of prescription, provide medications to customers and patients alike, counsel customers about use and misuse of the drugs, inform them about the effects of different types of drugs on the body, look after the cash counter, do administrative duties and perform numerous other pharmacy and drug related works in a pharmacy.

Though no formal education is required for working in a Pharmacy and work-on-the job training is enough for getting employment in a pharmacy. But, obtaining a Certification offers various types of benefits, such as better career prospects, higher salary and wider knowledge of medication field.

The Certification is offered by the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and it is necessary to pass the PTCB Certification test for earning certification. There are many community colleges, schools, trade schools and online courses, which prepares a student for the test.

PTCB certification test consist of 125 multiple choice scoring questions and 15 non-scoring questions. The non-scoring questions do not score but, they are helpful in future tests and quality test. The duration of the exam is 3 hours and the person appearing for the test must answer all questions, within that stipulated time period. Scores are offered according to the answered questions. Thus, it is necessary for a student to answer all questions to score better. Every question has 4 answers option, where only one answer is correct and that has to be marked by the individual appearing for the exam.

If you are also looking for the better career prospect, then you must sit for the Certification test and earn certification, which can also help you in getting registered with respective State Board of Pharmacy.

Guide to Pharmacies and Drugstores in Germany

What English-speakers refer to as pharmacies are known as Apotheke or Apotheken (plural) in Germany.

You probably are aware of this word from it’s English adoption, apothecary, and this word is used is many languages the world over.

In all German cities at all times of the day, there are always at least two pharmacies open. It is usual to find a list of these pharmacies and their respective opening hours printed in both the local government/council-printed newspapers as well as the council website, which usually can be found by typing in www. followed by the name of the city, followed by .de (the German web domain).

When open, these pharmacies offer a complete sales and medical advice service, so you can go in for a pack of paracetamol as well as for advice on prescription drugs and what you should do about that bump on the arm etc.

Sometimes, the duty pharmacy is indicated by signs in their shop windows.

What you won’t hear about until you actually have ordered a product, is the out of hours gebuhr/service charge that they charge to cover their staff overtime pay. It usually consists of just a few Euro’s or so.

Normally, you will find somebody who can speak a little English in these shops but if you do not, unless you are stuck with the only shop on all night duty, my recommendation is that you move on to another shop.

The problems that might arise from a misunderstanding are just too bad to think about.

Be prepared for alternative medicines being recommended to you instead of what you really came in for, the German pharmacies are well-known for this and they love to sell you two items that sound nicer than the one you really wanted. It is a business after all. You may even be tempted to go back by the free stuff they give you with each purchase, perhaps pocket tissues with their address on them or throat losenges when you have a cough that they notice!

The names of drugs themselves are fairly similar to what you are familiar to in English. Aspirin is Apsirin and Paracetamol is Paracetamol, only the pronunciation is slightly different. Try writing down on a piece of paper what you want and maybe pronunciation problems can be avoided. But other names are not the same. So, for example, cough medicine is Hustensyrop – pronounced Hoo-sten-soo-rop.