To the Journal editor:
Recently, there was a good and informative article written in The Mining Journal about various methods of disposal of expired or unwanted prescription medication. However, the writer stated that some drugs should be flushed down the sink or toilet.
Most environmental agencies, the Michigan Pharmacists Association, and the Upper Peninsula local of the MPA do not ever recommend flushing unwanted medications. Wastewater filtration plants are not capable of filtering out dissolved medications.
Trace amounts of medications can and are found in most water and drinking sources. Although humans have not yet been affected, there are negative and detrimental effects to good bacteria, microorganisms and small fish.
There are better ways to dispose of your medications. The Marquette and Ishpeming city police departments have a drop off container for daily use. Twice a year the DEA has designated drug take-back programs at various local police agencies.
The next date is set for Sept. 29. If you have questions or concerns, you can ask your local pharmacist for help in drug disposal.
The bottom line is we all have to make a slight extra effort to protect our water supply by not flushing medications down the drain. Let's keep our water pure.
Board Member UP-MPA