I am here to talk to you today about medication, animals and the environment. Many of us do not think of what happens when we are done with our medicine or the impact it has on the world around us.
In our day to day life many of us take medicine…if the doctor gives us 10 pills and we only take 5, what happens to the other 5? Some people flush them down the toilet, some use the sink and the most others tend to throw them out…none of these are acceptable, let us discuss why-
When we use the sink or the toilet, we are adding those medications directly to the environment. If you are on a local sewer system, the medications leave with the sewerage water into a treatment plant. Please keep in mind, some medications work on a microbiotic level and will remain even after the water has been treated…thus if you test your tap water you may find some drug content. If you are on septic is can be even more dangerous…the meds leave the home and goes to the septic where it contaminates the soil and ground water.
Let me give you something to think about…the University of Florida did a study that showed the alligators in Lake Apopka were becoming feminized due to the amount of contamination. The University of California found that cases of Thallium (once used as medicine, but no more due to the fact it was a good rodent exterminator) is still being released at over 1000 tons a year. Scientific American tell us a 15 year study reports, the Beluga Whale of the St. Lawrence River is suffering from several pathologies (ex. recorded 179 deaths & autopsied 73 carcasses, many exhibited stomach ulcers, commonly observed lesions of thyroid & adrenal glands, some had small amounts of milk because of: infection, necrosis, or tumors in mammary glands- 40% (21) of the animals bore tumors.)
What we do today has a BIG impact on tomorrow….this is not just in the field of animals and plants. Have you seen the young ladies walking down the street lately? When I was growing up, young ladies did not develop breasts until between the ages of 14-16…now they start at 10. According to the American Cancer Society, the number of smokers over the last 20 years has significantly decreased, but the cancer rate has tripled.
Okay, have I got your attention yet? What happens when we throw those medications out in the trash? If the medicine falls off the garbage truck, it could be picked up by a child or animal. If it goes to a landfill it will be buried in the soil and contaminate all it comes into contact with. Either way…no happy ending.
Prescription pills currently seem to be an epidemic among young people in the United States. The CDC conducted a survey in early 2010 and stated one in five high school students had taken pills not prescribed to them.
So here we sit wondering what we can do to change things. Every community had a way to drop off unused drugs. It can be easily found by asking your pharmacist or checking the internet. You can talk to family and friends about how important this issue is and how with very little effort they too could take a more green approach that would in the end help them out.
In conclusion, I ask you, my friends, to help me make a cleaner place to live. With very little effort together we can change the world.