A comprehensive survey of the drinking water for more than 28 million Americans.
The 11 most frequently detected compounds (pharmaceuticals and hormonally active chemicals) – all found at extremely low concentrations – were:
Atenolol, a beta-blocker used to treat cardiovascular disease
Carbamazepine, a mood-stabilising drug used to treat bipolar disorder, amongst other things
Estrone, an oestrogen hormone secreted by the ovaries and blamed for causing gender-bending changes in fish
Gemfibrozil, an anti-cholesterol drug
Meprobamate, a tranquiliser widely used in psychiatric treatment
Naproxen, a painkiller and anti-inflammatory linked to increases in asthma incidence
Phenytoin, an anticonvulsant that has been used to treat epilepsy
Sulfamethoxazole, an antibiotic used against the Streptococcus bacteria, which is responsible for tonsillitis and other diseases
TCEP, a reducing agent used in molecular biology
Trimethoprim, another antibiotic
The concentrations of pharmaceuticals in drinking water were millions of times lower than in a medical dose and pose no public threat.
“As we continue to populate and aggregate, our wastes will certainly accumulate where we live,” he says. “We as a species have decided to live a modern life, with pharmaceuticals, plastics, transportation – therefore we must accept that there will be a certain degree of contamination.”
Source: New Scientist