1:5:10:365 EcoTip Blog

April 29, 2008

:120 Safe Med Disposal

Filed under: :120 Safe Med Disposal — Tags: , , , , , — John Banta @ 12:01 am

Welcome to today’s 1:5:10:365 Tip for becoming a better steward for our home and planet.

1:5:10:120 Tip: Today’s 1:5:10:365 EcoTip deals with the safe disposal of old or unneeded medications and comes from The Green Theme Blog in Canada:

Bottle of pills

One of the major chemical pollution factors besides pesticides and herbicides are medication. In 2000, the problem was deemed so serious that the American Environmental Protection Agency decided to take a closer look at pharmaceuticals and active ingredients in personal care products known as PPCPs. What they found was that while agri chemicals have undergone tests for their environmental effects on aquatic and marine life, PPCPs have not. Exposure to PPCPs in the environment can be more lethal for fish and marine animals because they often affect their immune systems. Unfortunately, nobody has figured out a way to get this out of drinking water. What’s a person to do?

If you have any old lozenges, expired prescription drugs or vitamins, check out www.medicationsreturn.ca and there is a list of places such as Pharmasave that will take all your old stuff and destroy it safely.

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 Additional Information

Michelle’s Tip is an important one, but at this time I have been unable to find a source for safe disposal of medications in the United States. I called around some of my local pharmacies and was told to flush the meds down the toilet. This is what most people are probably doing, but these drugs are hazardous waste pollutants that don’t break down at the waste water treatment plant. One major concern is that antibiotics in the environment will promote the development of more resistant strains of bacteria.

Seems to me like this would be a good topic for writting a letter of concern our legal representatives. What do you think – Should pharmacies be required by law to take back old meds for proper disposal? 

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