AP: Drugs in your drinking water

After a 5-month investigation, the Associated Press reports that the drinking water in many U.S. metropolitan areas might be a cocktail of a wide range of pharmaceuticals.

AP Pharmawater logo

We take it for granted, mostly, that the water that comes into our homes is safe to consume. Sure, we may run the tap for 30 seconds or so to clear out rusty sediment or traces of lead, and every once in a while there's an E. coli scare. Many of us, too, filter the water, either at the tap or in a container for the fridge.

But now there's something new to worry about. After an in-depth, five-month investigation, the Associated Press is reporting that the supply of drinking water in many U.S. metropolitan areas--accessible to at least 41 million Americans--might be a cocktail of pharmaceuticals. Trace elements of the drugs, to be sure, but scientists say that there may nonetheless be reason to worry about the long-term effect on individuals and whole communities. Depending on where the tests were done, the substances found in the drinking water included antianxiety medications, pain killers, antibiotics, and even a sex hormone.

Read more from the AP: "AP Probe Finds Drugs in Drinking Water"

About the author

Jonathan Skillings is managing editor of CNET News, based in the Boston bureau. He's been with CNET since 2000, after a decade in tech journalism at the IDG News Service, PC Week, and an AS/400 magazine. He's also been a soldier and a schoolteacher, and will always be a die-hard fan of jazz, the brassier the better.


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