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For over a decade now environmental toxicologists have been doing chemical analyses on the water of lakes, streams and aquifers that are the sources of public drinking water, especially the waters that are downstream from wastewater treatment facilities. The results have been alarming.
The tests have consistently found measurable levels of prescription drugs, including arthritis drugs, contraceptives, psychostimulants, tranquilizers and antidepressants like Prozac, as well as cosmetics and synthetic food additives like dyes and preservatives that are excreted down the drain through the pill-popping public’s kidneys.
It is a sad fact that standard municipal water treatment plants are incapable of filtering out small molecules like psychotropic drugs that have been designed by chemists in the pharmaceutical industry to readily pass into the brain across the blood-brain barrier, a barrier that normally is able to prevent large molecules, bacteria, viruses, proteins and most toxins from getting into the brain or into the fluid that bathes the brain.
We have known for years that Beluga whales in the Arctic Ocean have measurable levels of ScotchGard in their blood streams and that most Americans have measurable levels of Teflon and other such fluoridated compounds in their blood. We know the stories of Love Canal, Agent Orange and DDT, among thousands of other tragic stories of industrial chemical contamination of human bodies.
We know that psychotropic drugs can cross the placental barrier into the fetal circulation. And, most soberingly, we now know that umbilical cord blood contains hundreds of toxic chemicals, many of which are known to be carcinogens. The ubiquitous effluent from our industrialized society is poisoning bodies of pregnant women and thus is contaminating the previously sacrosanct blood of fetuses and innocent newborn babies. And we wonder why there is an epidemic of congenital abnormalities and so-called “mental illnesses” and attention and other behavioral abnormalities among children. These illnesses are neurological poisonings and not mental illnesses of “unknown origin.”
Fouling the nest (and the body)
How do such chemicals enter public water supplies? Mostly through human urination and defecation, although flushing unused pills down the toilet or tossing them into landfills that are upstream from aquifers or streams is also a significant source of water contamination.
When humans defecate, urinate, sweat or bathe their organ systems are simultaneously getting rid of toxic substances. Ingested material first goes into the intestinal tract which attempts, through extensive enzymes systems, to break down the large molecule foodstuffs into smaller, more efficiently absorbed molecules of essential nutrients such as amino acids, simple sugars and fatty acids, along with essential minerals and vitamins. These digested molecules mainly pass directly into the blood stream (the “enterohepatic circulation”) that flows directly into the liver, which, among other functions, attempts to metabolize, detoxify and excrete poisonous substances into the biliary system (back into the intestines, however) -- although many of the metabolized substances go into the blood stream and thus to the rest of the body. Many of the partially detoxified drugs are still pharmacologically active and may still be toxic.
On our highly poisoned planet, with the tens of thousands of synthetic chemicals virtually everywhere (and almost none of them have been tested for safety), the liver’s detoxifiying capacity can be easily overwhelmed which probably explains why we Americans are among the sickest -- if not the sickest -- group of people in the developed world.
This situation is especially problematic in people who take a lot of drugs, frequently get vaccinated with the highly toxic metals aluminum and mercury (plus a variety of toxic adjuvants in the shots), eat a lot of long shelf-life junk foods that are laden with preservatives, drink a lot of nutritionally deficient soda pop that has synthetic sweeteners in it or are simply living and breathing downwind from polluting smokestacks or living downstream from corporate facilities that are polluting the water.
Brain- and body-altering drugs in the water
Male alligators in Florida are developing micropenises -- and probably infertility -- from the estrogen-mimicking pollutants in the water of the Everglades.
The famous mutant (and disappearing) frogs here in Minnesota were being turned into sterile hermaphrodites by the estrogen mimic, Atrazine, which is ubiquitous in the runoff water from the farming industry. It should come as no surprise that Atrazine has been found in the majority of drinking water supplies in the farming regions in southern Minnesota.