There are a few ways that medicine can pollute the environment, particularly waterways. Wastewater from pharmaceutical companies can get dumped into water pathways, people can dump their prescriptions down the toilet and even the medicine taken by people can be, ahem, excreted in non-metabolized ways so that they still enter the environment. These medicines can then enter the drinking supply causing problems in humans. Bacteria-resistant medications can interfere with natural bacteria ecosystems and cause health problems for people
Environmental concerns surrounding drugs include the environmental risks associated with the manufactoring and disposing of certain drugs. Certain drugs and/or chemical components of drugs can harm the environment if disposed of unproperly. For instance, some inhalers contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFC’s) which is a propellant that can harm the protective ozone layer.
Furthermore, the millions upon millions of drugs that humans take do not just disappear, but end up back in the environment. This can pose a risk to wildlife such as fish and other aquatic species who are found in polluted waters.
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