Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What's In Your Water?

Did you know that prescription medication flushed down toilets is ending up in our water supply? It’s extremely concerning and why we now have a national “take back day” issued by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency. The Office of Diversion Control states that, “In the four previous Take-Back events, DEA in conjunction with our state, local, and tribal law enforcement partners have collected more than 2 million pounds (1,018 tons) of prescription medications that were removed from circulation.”

The old advice of flushing your prescription medication is not only out of date but dangerous. Waste treatment centers cannot filter out medications completely which leaves a whole lot of dangerous meds left in our water supply. Even in trace amounts these are extremely dangerous and can over time do damage to our organs. Anti-convulsants, anti-psychotics, cancer drugs, hormones, etc. are all ending up not only in our drinking water, but rivers, streams and lakes as well. Flushed medications can kill helpful bacteria in septic systems and do damage to our eco system. Some waste treatment plants test for more pharmaceuticals than others but currently there is no regulatory requirements for testing and limits of these contaminants. A cat's liver does not have the mechanism to properly filter out these contaminants and can absorb them better than a human’s. 

This could be a big reason that life threatening illnesses have been on the rise in our pets in the last 10-20 years. Now of course this is not the only possible reason, I know that. Other things factor in like bacteria (which can be acquired through tap water), genetics, age, and a proper diet still have a lot to do with it. But even those who have always fed them an organic and/or raw diet have had pets with these diseases in recent years. Something has to be contributing to it and our environment plays a huge part. Another factor in our water is hexavalent chromium. 

Chromium-6, Widespread in US Tap Water - Cancer-causing chemical found in 89 percent of cities sampled: The National Toxicology Program has concluded that hexavalent chromium (also called chromium-6) in drinking water shows “clear evidence of carcinogenic activity” in laboratory animals, increasing the risk of gastrointestinal tumors. In September 2010, a draft toxicological review by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) similarly found that hexavalent chromium in tap water is “likely to be carcinogenic to humans.” For those of you who saw the movie Erin Brokovich, you’ll understand why this is so important. Ms. Brokovich fought a very long time to get hexavalent chromium removed from water supplies in California and many people there died from cancer because of that chemical. It seems the public has been duped into believing the battle was won. 

On that note, please consider using an over the counter or under the counter water filter in your house. Brittas and other low cost filters do NOT remove these chemicals. Nor do they remove parasites and other chemicals such a chlorine, fluoride, lead, mercury, arsenic, etc. Bottled water is not filtered for medications, it's best to use a water filtration system of either reverse osmosis or a carbon filter system.

This is the filter that we use:
The initial investment is a little costly but the cartridge replacements are very inexpensive (around $20) and last at least 6 months or longer depending on your water type. This one removes cryptosporidium, giardia, lead, chlorine, among many other things and works really well. There are plenty out there so do some research and see what you can find but make sure they can remove many particles & chemicals and these particular bacteria. Again, I make no money or receive anything for mentioning this company, this is just an example.

If you’d like to read more about what’s in your water please visit this page of my site:


WeBeesSiamese said...

We have brought things to that 'take back' program...and even brought things directly to the pharmacy when we wanted to get rid of stuff and there was not a take back event any time soon...
We have used an R.O. filter for many years...on our well water, which untreated is not only full of iron (It first goes through a special softener), and we were worried about the well water being raw...eeuuwww!
We now have a closed system, but we used to change the filters and it was YUCKY to the max! The system now is completely changed by the service dudes, so we won't have to worry about spilling all the contaminants.
Our water tastes delicious!

IBDKitties said...

We have city water but we also have a TON of iron in it. For years before they came out with shower filters my hair had an orange tint to it. Now I love my shower filter as much as my sink filter. Glad you guys use filters! Our water tastes so much better also. Tastes like WATER.

Anonymous said...

Since 1980, everyone in our family -- including furs and feathers -- drinks spring water from a mountain source. From my experience, it's the easiest on the internal system, especially for an IBD kitty. (By the way, I haven't forgotten, I still owe you a story about my wonderful little IBD kitty, Rocky, who lived his entire 17.5 years with IBD.) ~~mari

IBDKitties said...

That's great Mari! spring water is indeed the best. I know it's the thought of going over all of Rocky's IBD experiences is difficult. It'll help so many people. Will be honored to have him on my site when you are ready.