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Riverkeeper: Riverkeeper Calls for Action on News of Drugs in Water

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 10, 2008
3:07 PM

CONTACT: Riverkeeper
Renee Cho, Riverkeeper 914-478-4501 x. 239

 
Riverkeeper Calls for Action on News of Drugs in Water
 

NEW YORK - March 10 - In response to the results of an investigative report by the Associated Press (AP) about the presence of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of 24 of 28 U.S. metropolitan areas tested – including New York City -- Riverkeeper is calling for:

* The federal government to conduct a federally funded national study that provides risk assessments for pharmaceuticals in our waters, and measures the potential human and aquatic health effects.

* A comprehensive national “take back” prescription drug protocol.

* The New York State Department of Environmental Protection, which oversees New York City’s watershed, to include pharmaceuticals in its routine testing for contaminants and to release the data to the public.

Riverkeeper is advocating for all these measures, and, as an interim measure, educating our members and the public on how to safely dispose of pharmaceuticals. To properly dispose of medication, keep it in its plastic container, fill it with water and kitty litter or sand, place the cap on the bottle, put it into a zip lock plastic bag, then dispose of it in the trash. The other option for discarding medications is to take them to your local hazardous waste facility or hazardous waste clean up day location.

Riverkeeper Policy Director Lisa Rainwater stated, “This is a wake up call to our federal and state governments and to the pharmaceutical industry. The thought of a pharmaceutical cocktail making its way into our tap water is an alarming prospect that should be addressed immediately. We need sound policies to stop what appears to be the ‘Silent Spring’ of this generation.”

Riverkeeper is an independent member-supported environmental. Riverkeeper's mission is to protect the ecological integrity of the Hudson River and its tributaries, and to safeguard the drinking water supply of New York City and the lower Hudson Valley. For more information, please visit www.riverkeeper.org

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