Traces of prescription drugs have been found in far greater quantities in US drinking water supplies than previously thought, a study has claimed.
A report on drinking water carried out by the Environmental Protection Agency has found samples of at least 25 different drugs, including medication to treat heart conditions, in supplies coming out of wastewater treatment plants.
Medication to treat high blood pressure was not only the most commonly traced drug, but also found in the highest quantities.
Health officials say that the traces of the drugs, which include over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen and prescription drugs such as hydrocodone, pose a low risk to humans.
But they have also said that there is no credible research to predict the effect that the cocktail of drugs could have on humans or wildlife.
Environmental lawyers are now calling for more tests to be carried out on the water supply to find out what the long term effects of drinking it could be.
Nick Schroeck, executive director of the Great Lakes Environmental Law Center in Detroit, Michigan, told The New Republic: ‘All of these drugs out there on the market are going to be discharged into the environment and we don’t know what the effects are, because there’s no requirement to do an assessment on the front end.
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