Mar 04

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Microorganisms on medicine

Image via Mpelletier1 / Wikimedia

When we take medication, some of it gets excreted in our waste. And from there, it often ends up in water.

John Kelly of Loyola University Chicago says common pharmaceuticals can harm benthic microbes – microorganisms that grow in the sediment at the bottom of rivers.

“The microbes are at the bottom of the food web in these rivers and streams, and so if the presence of these drugs is decreasing their ability to grow, it could have significant effects on the ecosystem,” he explains.

Kelly says people can help by not taking medication unless it’s truly needed, and to never flush extra pills down the toilet. Instead, look for municipal take-back programs so they can be disposed of properly.

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Permanent link to this article: http://www.currentcast.org/toxic-contamination/microorganisms-on-medicine/