Drugs in the Water - Why we care

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  • Drugs in the Water..Why do we care? Hi, I’m Jim Mullowney, I’ve been involved in the environmental business for over 20 years – see a lot of familiar faces here and thank you for comning. Today we’re talking about drugs in the water supply and why we care.
  • Drugs in the Water - Why we care

    1. 1. Drugs in the Water Why Should We Care?
    2. 2. Things we thought were right… <ul><li>In 1975 I thought oil from my Dad’s Chevy was supposed to be disposed of behind the garage. </li></ul><ul><li>In college chemistry classes, we thought it was O.K. to clean our equipment with toxic chemicals. </li></ul>
    3. 3. Things we thought were right… <ul><li>1n 1995 I thought fluorescent light bulbs were O.K. to land-fill </li></ul><ul><li>In 2007 I thought drugs were safe to flush down the toilet </li></ul><ul><li>Until 2007, I thought your body burned up medicine and it was gone </li></ul>
    4. 4. <ul><li>I was wrong. </li></ul>sorry.
    5. 5. What we need to Understand <ul><li>Pharmaceuticals </li></ul><ul><li>Drugs </li></ul><ul><li>Medicines </li></ul><ul><li>They are all CHEMICALS </li></ul>
    6. 6. che·mo· ther·a·py : the use of chemical agents in the treatment of a medical condition.
    7. 7. The Bad Side of Good Drugs <ul><li>Effective drugs for the treatment of cancer often contain properties of which the side-effects are extremely dangerous and toxic to the environment. </li></ul><ul><li>Common drugs are being found in most fish populations and affecting them. </li></ul><ul><li>Making their way to our drinking water supply. </li></ul>
    8. 8. MERCK Safety Data Sheet - Mustargen <ul><li>This Drug May Cause: </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Heritable Genetic Damage </li></ul><ul><li>Harm to the Unborn Child </li></ul><ul><li>Very toxic by inhalation and if swallowed </li></ul><ul><li>Cytotoxic agent </li></ul>
    9. 9. How Dangerous are Many Hazardous Drugs? <ul><li>So Dangerous that the Drug companies are subcontracting their manufacture off-site to limit their liability to reduce exposure to their own workforce. </li></ul><ul><li>Some of the doses of these drugs are in the nano-gram per liter some in pico-gram per liter </li></ul>
    10. 10. This is where Hazardous Drugs get their Start
    11. 11. This is Where the Most Toxic Drugs are Prepared
    12. 12. Fundamental Question <ul><li>How well do you know how your disposal methods are impacting our environment? </li></ul>
    13. 13. Health facilities flush estimated 250M pounds of drugs a year. USA Today September 14 2008 <ul><li>Treating the toilet as a trash can isn't a good option,&quot; says Ben Grumbles the EPA's top water administrator </li></ul><ul><li>Why do we flush </li></ul><ul><li>DEA, Medicare </li></ul><ul><li>Keep away from children </li></ul>
    14. 14. Once Administered, Where does the Chemical Waste Go in Your Facility? Trash Red Bag Chemo Flush Returns Patient Home Hazardous Waste
    15. 15. Know what you don’t know…… <ul><li>Identify all locations for waste pharmaceuticals within your facility. </li></ul><ul><li>Identify the chemicals (drugs) in your facility. </li></ul>
    16. 16. What can we do <ul><li>Audit your complete disposal options for unused and used pharmaceuticals. </li></ul><ul><li>Review nursing management practices for wasting medicine. </li></ul><ul><li>Understand how your disposal methods are impacting the environment. </li></ul>
    17. 17. The healthcare industry is not the whole problem <ul><li>Disposal of unused drugs is only part of the problem. </li></ul>
    18. 18. Again, why do we care? <ul><li>WILL it become regulated? </li></ul><ul><li>We will be held responsible? </li></ul><ul><li>So be Proactive. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Thank You! James T.F. Mullowney

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