Monday, January 23, 2006

Environmentalism… Another Perspective…Part 2

Drugs On Tap Part 2.

This is Part 2 of the Article called Drugs on Tap and has been researched very thoroughly with References from:

Dr. Sherrill Sellmans’ continued investigation of the effects the water coming from our taps has on the Environment and ourselves.

Remember we drink it, bathe in it and cook with it.

Would You Like Birth Control Pills With Your Coffee?

Synthetic steroid hormones are taken by one hundred million women worldwide as oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy. Both natural and synthetic oestrogen’s as well oestrogen-mimicking chemicals from degradation of plasticizers enter sewage treatment plants.

A Canadian study provided concrete evidence of just what exposure to these chemicals portends. For three years, Canadian scientists added birth-control pills into a pristine Ontario Lake set aside for research to measure this impact. The results: all male fish in the lake – from tiny tadpoles to large trout – were feminized, (egg proteins were growing abnormally in their bodies). This was an unmistakable sign of hormone disruption. Feminized male fish have now been found in rivers and streams worldwide.

Theo Colborn, author of Our Stolen Future, is worried about pharmaceutical oestrogen’s mixing with chemicals already present in streams. ‘You can liken it to the side effects of a prescription drug – you don’t know how it’s going to interact with the over-the-counter drugs that you’re taking. For example, bisphenol A, a component of plastic, causes female mice to reach puberty earlier than normal.
Bisphenol A forms a weak bond with the body’s oestrogen receptors. It can scramble a cell’s natural communication system and cause it to replicate too quickly. That, in turn, raises concerns about cancer in women. What happens if this compound, which is active at low levels of exposure, combines with oestrogen from a birth control pill in the water? At this point, it’s still unclear. It could have long term health effects’.

Could oestrogen-laced water contribute to sharply falling human sperm counts? In Europe, researchers have tied a decline in male sperm count to levels of oestrogenic hormones in the environment. Unfortunately, the rising numbers of breast and uterine cancers, early puberty, and hypospadias (a birth defect of the urethra and penis), reveal a most disturbing picture. It appears that this unnatural exposure to potent oestrogen hormones as well as oestrogen mimics could be seriously and irrevocably altering critical hormonal signalling for adults as well as vulnerable infants and children.

Antibiotics – too much of a good thing?

Detection of antibiotics in drinking water is of particular concern. The presence of these chemicals in the Environment can lead to the development of resistant bacterial strains, contributing to antibiotic resistance.
Some of the antibiotics detected were Class 1 drugs, (the one used when other antibiotics don’t work).
A bacteria-phobic public now uses millions of pounds annually of triclosan, a broad- spectrum anti-microbial agent.
Triclosan is a derivative of the herbicide 2,4-D. It is the active ingredient found in a plethora of products such as anti-bacterial soaps, deodorants, mouthwashes, sponges and household cleaners.
Triclosan’s popularity has contributed to the antibiotic resistance problem.
If triclosan-initiated antibiotic resistance wasn’t bad enough, researchers found that when triclosan in water was exposed to sunlight, it converted into a dioxin. When first exposed to sunlight, triclosan becomes a mildly toxic chemical. The problem occurs when it becomes treated with chlorine at water treatment plants; it then breaks down to something even more potent.

What is particularly ironic is that the use of triclosan-treated products has never been proven to be superior to regular soap and water.

Just drink your Prozac – and call me in the morning.

In 2004, major headlines in Britian announced that Prozac was found in drinking water. The situation has been described as a ‘hidden mass medication of the unsuspecting public’. Since there is no way to monitor for levels of Prozac or other PPCP’s, a serious public health crisis is brewing. In the UK, there has been a 166 per cent increase in antidepressant prescriptions since 1991 – up to 24 million prescriptions a year.
The most popular kind is the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), which include Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox, and Seroxat/Paxil.

What might result from Prozac-laced water? US researchers found traces of Prozac and other antidepressants in the livers, muscles and brains of bluegill fish in Texas. In addition, they found traces of Prozac in Prozac – free people who ate the fish.

Low-level exposure to fluoxetine, the active ingredient of Prozac, delays both development in fish and metamorphosis in frogs. The researchers strongly suspect that results imply a disruption of thyroid function. ‘We know that the thyroid levels peak with metamorphic climax, when the legs and arms form and the tail resorbs. We believe that fluoxetine inhibits the thyroid’.

When it comes to the possible side effects of PPCP’s on humans and aquatic life, there are more questions than answers. It is a truly daunting task to assess the possible harmful affects of just one PPCP much less the exposure to thousands. And what might be the consequence of all those incalculable permutations of drug mixtures?

No one really knows.

More information is available at

Coming Up In Part Three:

Where do we go from here?

What about water sewage plants?

Be sure to check my blog regularly, so that you don’t miss the Final Installment of Drugs On Tap...

Until My Next Post

Bright Blessings.


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