Medication Disposal

Print
Press Enter to show all options, press Tab go to next option

No drugs down the drain!

Proper disposal of unused, unwanted, and expired medications is essential to protecting our environment. No drugs should ever be poured down the drain or simply thrown away in the trash, as this allows the medications to be absorbed into the environment and thus contaminate ground water, surface water and the ocean. This includes all medications, such as prescription pills containing hormones (i.e. birth control), over-the-counter medications, and even veterinary medicines.

According to the site "No Drugs Down the Drain," such contaminants pose the following threats:

The major concerns to date regarding the presence of medications in surface water bodies have been increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and interference with growth and reproduction in aquatic organisms such as fish and frogs. Aquatic organisms are sensitive to low levels of exposure and are particularly vulnerable when exposure occurs during developmentally sensitive times such as before birth and during juvenile stages of growth (http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/). Effects of exposure can include a gender ratio imbalance (e.g. more females than males within a given population); intersex conditions (the presence of both male and female reproductive organs within an individual organism); poor egg hatching success; decreased fertility and growth; and altered behavior (e.g. lethargy and disorientation).The major concerns to date regarding the presence of medications in surface water bodies have been increased bacterial resistance to antibiotics and interference with growth and reproduction in aquatic organisms such as fish and frogs. Aquatic organisms are sensitive to low levels of exposure and are particularly vulnerable when exposure occurs during developmentally sensitive times such as before birth and during juvenile stages of growth (http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/). Effects of exposure can include a gender ratio imbalance (e.g. more females than males within a given population); intersex conditions (the presence of both male and female reproductive organs within an individual organism); poor egg hatching success; decreased fertility and growth; and altered behavior (e.g. lethargy and disorientation).

The following sites discuss how to combat this problem.