Study turned up Prozac, Valium in local water samples

Low levels of 17 emerging organic wastewater contaminants — mostly pharmaceuticals and personal care products — were detected at a variety of locations in the Great Miami River basin. SKY 7 / STAFF
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Low levels of 17 emerging organic wastewater contaminants — mostly pharmaceuticals and personal care products — were detected at a variety of locations in the Great Miami River basin. SKY 7 / STAFF

A Miami Conservancy District study of the Great Miami River basin in 2010 and 2011 found low levels of 17 emerging organic wastewater contaminants — mostly pharmaceuticals and personal care products — at a variety of locations, including in the water discharged from wastewater treatment plants.

Low concentrations were also found in groundwater — from which Dayton pumps drinking water — though Conservancy District scientists say the levels were not sufficient to warrant concern about human health risks.

Still, scientists say increasing drug use could eventually result in more contaminants seeping into the water supply and in higher amounts. Here are the 17 contaminants found in the Conservancy District study:

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• Acetaminophen – the active ingredient in pain medications such as Tylenol

• Atenolol – a drug used to control high blood pressure

• Bisphenol A (BPA) – a compound used primarily to make plastics

• Butalbital – is in a group of drugs called barbiturates and often combined with

acetaminophen to treat tension headaches

• Caffeine – found in a variety of commonly consumed beverages such as coffee, tea, and

colas

• Carbamazepine – a mood stabilizing drug used primarily in the treatment of epilepsy

• Cotinine – is a byproduct of nicotin

• Diazepam (Valium) – a drug commonly used for treating anxiety, insomnia, seizures,

muscle spasms, etc.

• Fluoxetine (Prozac) – used to treat depression and obsessive-compulsive disorders

• Gemfibrozil – a drug used to lower lipid levels and aids in the metabolism of

carbohydrates and fats

• Ibuprofen – an anti-inflammatory drug sold under various tradenames such as Advil and

Motrin

• Iopromide – a contrast agent used in radiographic studies such as intravenous urograms

and CT brain scans

• Perfluorooctane Sulfonate (PFOS) – was the key ingredient in Scotchgard and has been

used in fire-fighting foams

• Sulfamethoxazole – an antibiotic commonly used to treat urinary tract infections

• Testosterone – the principal male sex hormone and is an anabolic steroid

• Triclosan – antibacterial/antifungal agent used in soaps, deodorants, toothpastes, etc.

• Trimethoprim – an antibiotic used in the treatment of urinary tract infections

Source: Miami Conservancy District

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