Fishing for the Facts: Is It Safe to Flush Old Meds?
What to do when it comes time to ditch old and unused medicine? Flushing old pharmaceuticals down the toilet may seem like a better option than simply trashing them. After all, the FDA recommends flushing some drugs in order to keep them from being accidentally ingested by others. Problem is, like everything else we flush, medicine we send down the pipes ends up in waterways…and potentially beyond.
That’s part of what has prompted organizations like the Alliance for the Great Lakes and the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) to call for further investigation into the impact of chemical contaminants in our water, and to advocate safe disposal of medicines through local drug take-back programs. We talked with Olga Lyandres, PhD, the Alliance’s research manager, and Debra Shore, MWRD commissioner to find out why they think participating in drug take-back programs are the best option. (more…)