[image via Natural Resources Canada]
Nowadays more people than ever seem to be on meds, which makes the following fact just so, so gross: Apparently when we take medication like mood stabilizers and beta-blockers, a fraction of it goes into our body, and the rest goes right through us into the toilet. Said medication then evades the normal wastewater filtration processes, and the resultant sewage goes out into the world. And then "even small amounts of these compounds can significantly affect the health of animals and ecosystems.... Unabsorbed hormones from birth-control pills and other drugs can make their way into rivers, where they can alter the reproductive patterns of fish."Bad enough we've got oily oysters, now we're looking at ducks on Prozac, fish with screwed-up hormones...it doesn't sound good. At any rate I came across this information while researching an otherwise positive breakthrough in wetland filtration, whereby bacteria and ultraviolet light are successfully being used to rid contaminated water of copper traces; researchers are now hoping to apply the technology to the pharmaceuticl problem. Read all about the specific process here here, and read about how wetlands work in general here.