Kitchen tap may offer drugs and more

12:59pm, October 30, 2001

From Minneapolis, at the Second International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water.

Last year, federal scientists reported preliminary data showing that many rivers and streams in the United States contain traces of prescription drugs and household chemicals. Now, these researchers have found that many of these largely ignored pollutants are making their way through community waste-treatment and drinking-water plants, possibly even all of the way through the kitchen tap.

Deborah M. Moll and her colleagues at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, together with scientists of the U.S. Geological Survey, analyzed local streams, treated wastewater, and drinking-water supplies for 47 compounds typically found in municipal wastes. These ranged from caffeine to bisphenol-A, a compound used in polycarbonate plastics.

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