segunda-feira, 10 de março de 2008

Medicamentos na água potável: ?!?!

Medicamentos encontrados na água. O texto completo é um despacho da Associated Press (clique aqui) . Abaixo, o comentário do blogueiro do WSJ
It’s not so expensive to get pharmaceuticals after all: Just drink water. An investigation by the Associated Press found trace amounts of scads of drugs in drinking-water supplies around the country. For a list of what was found in the watersheds of 28 metro areas, click here. Among the water’s offerings were antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones. There were traces of sedatives in water serving the city that never sleeps. While eyebrow-raising, there’s debate about what this actually means for human health. A microbiologist for PhRMA, the drug industry’s trade group, told the AP there’s little to no risk to humans. But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby, director of environmental technology for Merck, said: “There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to acquatic organisms.” Recent research found the small amounts of drugs affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells, the AP says, causing cancer cells to proliferate too quickly, for instance. (See this AP story for more on the research.) Wildlife are also being affected: Male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins. But some scientists caution the research is extremely limited, and there are lots of unknowns. Water providers rarely inform the public about the phenomenon, in part because they fear the fear factor. The head of a group representing major California suppliers told the AP that the public “doesn’t know how to interpret the information” and might be unduly alarmed. How do the drugs get in the water, anyway? Through our own waste, the AP explains. When people take drugs, their bodies absorb some, but not all, of the medication, and the rest goes down the toilet. Wastewater, of course, is treated before it’s discharged into reservoirs, rivers or lakes, and then it’s cleansed before it makes its way to the tap or into bottles. But trace amounts of drug residue remain.

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