Monday, March 10, 2008

Pharmaceuticals found in drinking water of 24 major metro areas

Pharmaceuticals found in drinking water of 24 major metro areas

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At least one pharmaceutical was detected in tests of treated drinking water supplies for 24 major metropolitan areas, according to an Associated Press survey of 62 major water providers and data obtained from independent researchers.

Only 28 tested drinking water. Three of those said results were negative; Dallas says tests were conducted but results are not yet available. Thirty-four locations said no testing was conducted.

Test protocols varied widely. Some researchers looked only for one pharmaceutical or two; others looked for many.

Some water systems said tests had been negative, but the AP found independent research showing otherwise. Both prescription and non-prescription drugs were detected.

Because coffee and tobacco are so widely used, researchers say their byproducts are good indicators of the presence of pharmaceuticals. Thus, they routinely test for, and often find, both caffeine and nicotine's metabolite cotinine more frequently than other drugs.

Here's the list of metropolitan areas, grouped by categories — those with positive test results, including the number of pharmaceuticals detected and some examples of specific drugs found, locations where tests were negative, locations where tests were not conducted and a location with pending results:

TESTED POSITIVE

Arlington, Texas: 1 (unspecified pharmaceutical)

Atlanta: 3 (acetaminophen, caffeine and cotinine)

Cincinnati: 1 (caffeine)

Columbus, Ohio: 5 (azithromycin, roxithromycin, tylosin, virginiamycin and caffeine)

Concord, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and sulfamethoxazole)

Denver: (unspecified antibiotics)

Detroit: (unspecified drugs)

Indianapolis: 1 (caffeine)

Las Vegas: 3 (carbamazepine, meprobamate and phenytoin)

Long Beach, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)

Los Angeles: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)

Louisville, Ky.: 3 (caffeine, carbamazepine and phenytoin)

Milwaukee: 1 (cotinine)

Minneapolis: 1 (caffeine)

New Orleans: 3 (clofibric acid, estrone and naproxen)

Northern New Jersey: 7 (caffeine, carbamazepine, codeine, cotinine, dehydronifedipine, diphenhydramine and sulfathiazole)

Philadelphia: 56 (including amoxicillin, azithromycin, carbamazepine, diclofenac, prednisone and tetracycline)

Portland, Ore.: 4 (acetaminophen, caffeine, ibuprofen and sulfamethoxazole)

Riverside County, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)

San Diego: 3 (ibuprofen, meprobamate and phenytoin)

San Francisco: 1 (estradiol)

Southern California: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)

Tucson, Ariz.: 3 (carbamazepine, dehydronifedipine and sulfamethoxazole)

Washington, D.C.: 6 (carbamazepine, caffeine, ibuprofen, monensin, naproxen and sulfamethoxazole)

TESTED NEGATIVE

Albuquerque, N.M.: tests negative

Austin, Texas: tests negative

Virginia Beach, Va.: tests negative

DID NOT TEST

Baltimore: no testing

Birmingham, Ala.: no testing

Boston: no testing

Charlotte, N.C.: no testing

Chicago: no testing

Cleveland: no testing

Colorado Springs, Colo.: no testing

El Paso, Texas: no testing

Fairfax, Va.: no testing

Fort Worth, Texas: no testing

Fresno, Calif.: no testing

Honolulu: no testing

Houston: no testing

Jacksonville, Fla.: no testing

Kansas City, Mo.: no testing

Memphis, Tenn.: no testing

Mesa, Ariz.: no testing

Miami: no testing

Nashville, Tenn.: no testing

New York City: no testing

Oakland, Calif.: no testing

Oklahoma City: no testing

Omaha, Neb.: no testing

Orlando, Fla.: no testing

Phoenix: no testing

Sacramento, Calif.: no testing

San Antonio: no testing

Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Md.: no testing

San Jose, Calif.: no testing

Santa Clara, Calif.: no testing

Seattle: no testing

Suffolk County, N.Y.: no testing

Tulsa, Okla.: no testing

Wichita, Kan.: no testing

TESTED, RESULTS PENDING

Dallas: results pending

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