B/CS To Test Drinking Water For Prescription Drugs

The cities of Bryan and College Station are reacting to a recent investigation that revealed much of the nation's water supply is laced with prescription drugs.

Neither city currently tests for pharmaceuticals because it's not required by government agencies.

However, since the Associated Press report was released, both cities have decided to send water samples to a lab for testing.

City officials are confident pharmaceutical drugs will not be found because B/CS water comes from a deep aquifer, therefore, not as susceptible to contamination.

Local officials say the screening is simply for peace of mind.

College Station is sending its water to a lab in California, which costs approximately $500 to be tested. Bryan is still researching testing companies.

The following is an Associated Press story from Tuesday, March 11:

An Associated Press investigation has found a vast array of pharmaceuticals in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans.

They include antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones, as well as over-the-counter pain medicines.

The concentrations are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion. That's far below the levels of a medical dose.

But some scientists are worried about the long-term consequences to human health.

Researchers don't yet understand the exact risks from decades of exposure to combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals. But recent studies have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife.

In the course of a five-month inquiry, the AP discovered that drugs have been detected in the drinking water supplies of 24 major metropolitan areas -- from Southern California to Northern New Jersey, from Detroit to Louisville, Kentucky.

Utilities insist their water is safe.

Here's the list of metropolitan areas, grouped by categories - those with positive test results, including the number of pharmaceuticals detected and some examples of specific drugs found, locations where tests were negative, locations where tests were not conducted and a location with pending results:

Arlington, Texas: 1 (unspecified pharmaceutical)
Atlanta: 3 (acetaminophen, caffeine and cotinine)
Cincinnati: 1 (caffeine)
Columbus, Ohio: 5 (azithromycin, roxithromycin, tylosin,
virginiamycin and caffeine)
Concord, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and sulfamethoxazole)
Denver: (unspecified antibiotics)
Detroit: (unspecified drugs)
Indianapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Las Vegas: 3 (carbamazepine, meprobamate and phenytoin)
Long Beach, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Los Angeles: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Louisville, Ky.: 3 (caffeine, carbamazepine and phenytoin)
Milwaukee: 1 (cotinine)
Minneapolis: 1 (caffeine)
New Orleans: 3 (clofibric acid, estrone and naproxen)
Northern New Jersey: 7 (caffeine, carbamazepine, codeine,
cotinine, dehydronifedipine, diphenhydramine and sulfathiazole)
Philadelphia: 56 (including amoxicillin, azithromycin,
carbamazepine, diclofenac, prednisone and tetracycline)
Portland, Ore.: 4 (acetaminophen, caffeine, ibuprofen and
Riverside County, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
San Diego: 3 (ibuprofen, meprobamate and phenytoin)
San Francisco: 1 (estradiol)
Southern California: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Tucson, Ariz.: 3 (carbamazepine, dehydronifedipine and
Washington, D.C.: 6 (carbamazepine, caffeine, ibuprofen,
monensin, naproxen and sulfamethoxazole)

Albuquerque, N.M.: tests negative
Austin, Texas: tests negative
Virginia Beach, Va.: tests negative

Baltimore: no testing
Birmingham, Ala.: no testing
Boston: no testing
Charlotte, N.C.: no testing
Chicago: no testing
Cleveland: no testing
Colorado Springs, Colo.: no testing
El Paso, Texas: no testing
Fairfax, Va.: no testing
Fort Worth, Texas: no testing
Fresno, Calif.: no testing
Honolulu: no testing
Houston: no testing
Jacksonville, Fla.: no testing
Kansas City, Mo.: no testing
Memphis, Tenn.: no testing
Mesa, Ariz.: no testing
Miami: no testing
Nashville, Tenn.: no testing
New York City: no testing
Oakland, Calif.: no testing
Oklahoma City: no testing
Omaha, Neb.: no testing
Orlando, Fla.: no testing
Phoenix: no testing
Sacramento, Calif.: no testing
San Antonio: no testing
Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Md.: no testing
San Jose, Calif.: no testing
Santa Clara, Calif.: no testing
Seattle: no testing
Suffolk County, N.Y.: no testing
Tulsa, Okla.: no testing
Wichita, Kan.: no testing

Dallas: results pending

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