|Medications in the Environment|
What happens when I flush unused medications down the toilet or put them in the drain?
Unused medications that are flushed down the toilet or placed in drains pass through the sewer system and eventually enter our streams, lakes, and rivers.
Because medications have been detected in small amounts in surface water bodies, the major concerns have been increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and interference with growth and reproduction in aquatic organisms such as fish and frogs.
The presence of medications in the environment is a complex issue and the level of risk to humans and the environment is still being determined. With tens of thousands of medicinal products currently on the market and with more being developed each year, it is not definitively known which products (or combinations of products) are a problem or what the long-term risks are. However, in order to minimize the potential negative and irreversible impacts on the environment, it is important that we limit the disposal of waste medications to the sewer.
The California Pharmacists Association (CPhA) has partnered with the No Drugs Down the Drain program and recognizes the need to divert waste medicines from the sewer. To learn more about the CPhA, visit their website.
|No Drugs Down the Drain: How should I dispose of my medications?|