Thursday, June 07, 2007

Antibiotics In The Water Supply

After months of research, time and time again receiving the same word 'antibiotic' as I search through a whole range of apparently unrelated topics, symptoms, reactions, solutions, assessments. Across the whole spectrum of molds, yeast, fungus, fungi, mycotoxins, reactions, causes and things to avoid. This one little word 'antibiotics, appears so often that I can no longer ignore it.

Each time I read the word antibiotic, I disregarded it because I have avoided that problem most of my adult life. I eat the way I eat to avoid the antibiotics contaminating a lot of our food. I am aware of the health problems that can result from antibiotic damage to the intestinal flora. I noticed over the past year that the local water supply seems to be deteriorating. If I don't filter the water, but use it straight from the tap then I get a greasy film floating on the surface of the water after boiling.

I thought increasingly about the quality of the water, and is it possible that there are a whole load of medicines, drugs and human antibiotics in the water supply as well as animal antibiotics? Yes, it is not only possible... the water we drink is contaminated with all kinds of drugs and everyday pollutants.

Animal antibiotics found in water supply
All sorts of chemicals are showing up in the human water supply these days: antidepressant drugs, fire retardant chemicals, cancer-causing chemicals and now antibiotics used by the cattle industry.

Cattle ranchers generally don't like to think about the environmental impact of their ranching practices, but as a society, we need to start looking more closely. You can't dose tens of millions of cattle with antibiotic drugs and have a clean water supply, too. Especially if you live anywhere near Greeley, Colorado, the beef (and slaughterhouse) capital of the western world.

A Colorado State University study is the first to show that antibiotic drugs used specifically for enhancing growth, preventing diseases and increasing feed efficiency in food animals, such as cattle, are making their way into public waterways.

Pharma In The Water Supply

The Posidon Project
As the use of cosmetics and antibiotics grows, increasing quantities of their active organic ingredients are released into the environment through waste water systems. Eventually they may reach our drinking water, with poorly understood consequences. The Poseidon project is quantifying the problem and testing new waste water treatment technologies to remove these contaminants.

Antibiotics are an essential part of human and veterinary medicine, contributing significantly to our quality of life. Knowledge about what happens to their active organic ingredients after use is limited. On excretion from humans they are released through the waste water system into the environment – and eventually back into the drinking water supply. But the degradation of the active compounds during this process has never been quantified. We do know that over the last decade Europe consumed on average 12 500 tonnes of antibiotics per year, and that their usage is increasing. Recent findings confirm their presence in municipal waste water and agricultural waste.

This issue is not limited to antibiotics. Other medicines, such as birth control pills and painkillers, along with many personal care products, contain persistent organic compounds. Grouped as pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) these compounds are used in the home and discharged directly into municipal waste water systems. Measurements at sewage treatment plants (STPs) across Europe have identified 36 different PPCPs in effluent and more than 30, including antibiotics, are found in rivers and streams.

Despite the high biological potency of some PPCPs, environmental impact data is rare. Pharmaceuticals are designed to induce specific biological effects in target organisms for a limited period of time. But long-term exposure to PPCPs, even at low concentrations, may have significant impacts on human and environmental health. A particular worry is the release of antibiotics, which may further accelerate the evolution of resistant bacterial strains. Research

Antibiotics are compounds produced by various living organisms, such as yeast or fungi. They inhibit the growth of or destroy certain organisms, such as bacteria. They are used to prevent and treat diseases in both animals and humans.