Contrary to popular belief, you should not be flushing those unused medications down the toilet.
I’ve read in local newspapers and on the news that our prior education on how to dispose of medications was flawed. Trace amounts of various chemicals from over the counter and prescription medications is being found in treated water from sewage treatment plants. The common misconception is that once it goes down the drain, all is good. That is far from the truth. Treatment plants have a list of heavy metals, biologicals, and chemicals that they must treat in order for the water to be safe to reintroduce to the ecosystem. However, this list doesn’t contain such complex chemicals as Prozac and Lipitor.
Fish and local animals are the most affected by this issue. The United States Geological Survey has a special section on their site dedicated to “emerging contaminants” in our environment.
I figured I’d pass this on to everyone since I’ve been in the dark about the issues involved with disposal of meds. I already keep batteries, cell phones, and computers from friends and family and make a pilgrimage to the local hazardous waste dump to dispose of the items for them.