Pharmaceuticals in Water

One illustration of how much pharmaceuticals have infiltrated our water supplies came from testing of fish caught in water downstream from sewage plants in five U.S. cities.  They all contained traces of many pharmaceuticals.  In the fish from one location, Chicago’s North Shore Channel, the breakdown showed:

• Dilitiazem, an antihypertensive – 0.13 nanograms per gram of fish
• Diphenhydramine, antihistamine – 1.4 nanograms per gram
• Carbamazepine, antiseizure – 2.3 nanograms per gram
• Norfluoxetine, an antidepressant by-product – 3.2 nanograms per gram of fish

Now a nanogram is a very tiny amount, and it is reported that you’d have to eat tons of such fish for such small concentrations to effect human health.  However, what happens if you drink the water with all these drugs in it?

What is in your water supply one day could vary a lot from what is there a month later.  How the chemicals and drugs in your water supply combine is simply unknown.  How can it be known exactly what a filter will remove when you don’t know what is in the water to begin with – and when it varies by variety and time and place and amount?

We are always on the lookout for good water filters.  We have chosen the ones we sell because we believe them to be the best – and for very good reasons.  While we have been offered the opportunity to sell several other lines, our preference is to offer only those that we consider the best and the best value.

What About Reverse Osmosis?

We’ve don’t sell or recommend reverse osmosis for a number of reasons. Some say that reverse osmosis filters remove pharmaceuticals and other chemicals now found in our water supply.  The truth is: partially.  Reverse osmosis works by separating water with contaminants from water without by passing it through membranes.  If the molecules of a drug or chemical are smaller than the membrane filters out, then they will pass through.  For example, synthetic pesticides and herbicides may not be filtered.  How many, which drugs, and which chemicals are filtered out?  How can one say when they are different all over?