Letters to the Editor

Prescriptions drugs easily enter water system

To the editor:

Treated Sewage Effluent Still Poses Threat, Sept. 23 Capital News.

With so many people taking prescription drugs this problem is going to become worse not better.

Prescription drugs pass through our bodies and are excreted in the urine. Comprised of long chain molecules, their strong and complex bonds are not broken down by the bacteria used to treat water at a wastewater treatment facility. Hence these molecules pass through the treatment plant unchanged and unaffected. Discharged into receiving streams and other large bodies of water, they have been shown to affect aquatic life. Endocrine inhibitors affect natural spawning and sexual orientation of fish. Fewer fish are actually spawning and mutations in the fish species are on the increase.

Drug companies, to their credit, have identified this as a big issue and are trying to come up with new molecular configurations possessing weaker atomic bonds that break down more easily into smaller molecules. The theory is that the smaller molecules can then be assimilated by the bacteria in the environment. Use of ultraviolet (UV) and ozone are successful strategies to break apart the long chain molecules but are prohibitively expensive and produce many new molecules whose affect on the environment are not known.

Currently endocrine inhibitors are not monitored at treatment plants.

It is a sad observation that the EPA shows more interest in regulating CO2 (a hot politically correct potato related to global warming theories and which most living organisms respire) as a pollutant than they are in regulating this current and growing threat to our environment.

 

Thomas Stanton, Kelowna

 

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

DeHart: New Fiats popular with Kelowna drivers
 
Diesel stays stubbornly high amid crude oil drop
 
Westbank Country Opry honour one of their own
Crafty, creative business opens in Penticton Cannery Trade Centre
 
Theatre Review: Caravan’s winter offering is a breath of fresh air
 
Hydro power switched on in the Iskut area
Socks for the Season
 
Office merits building award
 
Run course for Challenge Penticton modified

Community Events, December 2014

Add an Event


Read the latest eEdition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Dec 19 edition online now. Browse the archives.