Properly Getting Rid Of Unused Prescription Medication
How should medication that you no longer need or want be disposed of? To prevent it from falling into the wrong hands, do you flush it, throw it away, or wash it down the drain? Unfortunately, improper disposal could result in water system contamination depending on the chemical makeup of the medicine. Human health, marine ecosystems, and other factors are all threatened by this pollution. Here is a concise summary of the dangers associated with improper medication disposal, along with some advice on how to prevent them.
These disposal techniques had previously been advised to avoid unintended use by children or adult opioid-seeking users. On the other hand, pharmaceutical chemicals were not intended to be removed from water when septic systems and water treatment plants were constructed. Throughout the United States, streams and drinking water have been found to contain compounds connected to pharmaceuticals.
40% of the nation’s drinking water, which is filtered by subterranean aquifers, contains pharmaceuticals in it. These chemicals have all been associated with steroids, antibiotics, antidepressants, pain relievers, and other medications. Since landfill chemicals seep into surface water, throwing pharmaceuticals in the trash could be hazardous. What kind of damage might these pollutants cause to the environment? Studies show that leftover prescription medication has affected the growth, reproduction, and behavior of many animals, including fish and frogs. When fish is eaten that has been tainted, both people and animals suffer.
Furthermore, these substances—along with the byproducts of their breakdown—end up in lakes and rivers after being processed in wastewater treatment facilities. When they are introduced into these biomes, the nutritional value and microbes start to change. An area’s level of microbial contamination may have far-reaching effects. The agricultural lands and cattle farms on which we rely are then irrigated using the same water.
Individuals can aid in halting additional harm, but major offenders like livestock farms, hospitals, and nursing homes cannot. Read the entire information sheet that is included with the medication first. On a leaflet or booklet, it should be noted the EPA waste code and whether the medication is flammable, corrosive, poisonous, or reactive. On their website, the FDA also maintains a flush list. Use this information to determine whether it is safe to flush or trash a medicine.
If you’re unsure whether a drug fits into one of these categories, bring it to a drug disposal site or your neighborhood public disposal location for restricted substances. Buying should likewise be approached with extra caution. Since medication might expire and become ineffective, it shouldn’t be kept on hand.
For more details on how to properly dispose of medications, please read the reference image.