Wednesday, March 12, 2008
As we debate the future of adequate water in the desert, out comes a study issued Sunday by The Associated Press that will make you look twice at our already endangered tap water.
The study looked at 24 metropolitan areas in the United States, including Tucson. The conclusion? Water delivered to homes through city water utilities isn't as pure as expected. The impurities aren't nitrates or other pollutants, but things like Prozac, antibiotics and sex hormones--in the drinking water of about 41 million folks, according to the AP investigation.
Just so folks don't go off in a panic; The concentrations are measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion--nowhere near medical doses. And utility companies insist the water is safe:
"Water providers rarely disclose results of pharmaceutical screenings, unless pressed, the AP found. For example, the head of a group representing major California suppliers said the public 'doesn't know how to interpret the information' and might be unduly alarmed."
Alarmed! Alarmed! Well, after all, we have ourselves to blame. The drugs come from us when we pee them out and flush them down the toilet. The treated water goes into reservoirs, rivers or lakes for natural filtration--but that's evidently not enough.