When cleaning out your medicine cabinet, what’s the right way to get rid of medication? Unfortunately, depending on the drug’s chemical composition, inappropriate disposal could lead to water system contamination. Among the numerous things that are affected by this pollution are human health and marine environments. Here, the issues raised by inappropriate medicine cabinet cleaning are briefly discussed along with some tips for avoiding them.
Adopting these disposal methods had previously been advised in order to prevent accidental opiate abuse in either adults or children. On the other hand, when septic systems and water treatment facilities were established, pharmaceutical compounds were not intended to be eliminated from water. It has been discovered that drinking water and streams around the country contain substances linked to drugs.
Pharmaceuticals are present in 40% of the country’s drinking water, which is filtered by underground aquifers. These substances have all been linked to a number of drugs, including steroid, antibiotic, antidepressant, and painkillers. Throwing medications in the garbage could be dangerous since landfill chemicals leach into surface water. What kind of environmental harm could these chemicals cause? Studies have shown that leftover prescription medications have an impact on the growth, reproduction, and behavior of many animals, including fish and frogs. Animals and humans are both harmed by tainted seafood.
Additionally, after being handled in wastewater treatment facilities, these substances—along with the byproducts of their breakdown—end up in lakes and rivers. They start to change in terms of bacteria and nutritional value after they are exposed to various biomes. The degree of microbial contamination in a location could have a significant impact. Then, we use the same water to irrigate the crops and cattle ranches that support our way of life.
People can help, even while major offenders like hospitals, nursing homes, and cattle farms cannot be stopped. Read the drug’s entire information page first. The EPA waste code and whether the medication is flammable, corrosive, poisonous, or reactive should be noted on a brochure or leaflet. The FDA website also features a flush list. Use this knowledge to decide whether it is best to flush or throw away a drug.
Bring any medications you’re unsure of to a drug disposal facility or a public drug disposal site in your community. The same caution should be exercised when purchasing. Medication shouldn’t be kept on hand because it can expire and lose its effectiveness.
See the reference image for further details on how to properly dispose of medications.
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