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prozac found in Britain's drinking water

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posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 08:39 AM
I read this article today about traces of the anti-depressent drug Prozac being found in Britain's drinking water, people are claiming that this is a case of mass medication targeting the unsuspecting public.

Stay calm everyone, there's Prozac in the drinking water

Mark Townsend
Sunday August 8, 2004
The Observer

It should make us happy, but environmentalists are deeply alarmed: Prozac, the anti-depression drug, is being taken in such large quantities that it can now be found in Britain's drinking water.
Environmentalists are calling for an urgent investigation into the revelations, describing the build-up of the antidepressant as 'hidden mass medication'. The Environment Agency has revealed that Prozac is building up both in river systems and groundwater used for drinking supplies.

The government's chief environment watchdog recently held a series of meetings with the pharmaceutical industry to discuss any repercussions for human health or the ecosystem.

The discovery raises fresh fears that GPs are overprescribing Prozac, Britain's antidepressant of choice. In the decade up to 2001, overall prescriptions of antidepressants rose from nine million to 24 million a year.

A recent report by the Environment Agency concluded Prozac could be potentially toxic in the water table and said the drug was a 'potential concern'.

However, the precise quantity of Prozac in the nation's water supplies remains unknown. The government's Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI) said Prozac was likely to be found in a considerably 'watered down' form that was unlikely to pose a health risk.

Dr Andy Croxford, the Environment's Agency's policy manager for pesticides, told The Observer: 'We need to determine the effects of this low-level, almost continuous discharge.'

Norman Baker, the Liberal Democrat's environment spokesman, said the revelations exposed a failing by the government on an important public health issue. He added that the public should be told if they were inadvertently taking drugs like Prozac.

'This looks like a case of hidden mass medication upon the unsuspecting public,' Baker said. 'It is alarming that there is no monitoring of levels of Prozac and other pharmacy residues in our drinking water.'

Experts say that Prozac finds its way into rivers and water systems from treated sewage water. Some believe the drugs could affect their reproductive ability.

European studies have also expressed disquiet over the impact of pharmaceuticals building up in the environment, warning that an effect on wildlife and human health 'cannot be excluded'.

'It is extremely unlikely that there is a risk, as such drugs are excreted in very low concentrations,' a DWI spokesman said. 'Advanced treatment processes installed for pesticide removal are effective in removing drug residues,' he added.

[edit on 8-8-2004 by electric squid carpet]

posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 09:15 AM
Huh? Are they actually saying it is so potent it is being p*ssed out and then making it's way through the enviroment and back into the drinking water? After all, if it is coming from processed sewage, that is then released back into the environment to eventually make it's way back to the water table (cause surely processed sewage doesn't go right back to the drinking supply), then what else is passing through these channels too?

Frightening if this is true, but even more frightening is the implication if that is not how it's getting there, (and this does seem somewhat far fetched).

Geez, what made someone even test for this in the first place? That one kinda has some scary implications too.

If the suspect explanation is true, I can't imagine it wouldn't also be found here in the US. It's handed out like candy by some PCP's who haven't got a clue how dangerous it can be if a complete diagnosis hasn't been made (like if it's bipolar disorder instead of straight depression, it's downright dangerous!)

posted on Aug, 8 2004 @ 09:37 AM
Indeed, even though most psychoactive drugs when passed through the human body only absorb a small to medium amount of the substance and discard the rest, im still finding the explanation a little hard to believe.
I would really like to know how much of the drug was found during tests.

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