National Prescription Drug Take Back Day is Saturday, Oct. 28
From a press release from the New York Sea Grant:
On Saturday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., collection sites across the United States will accept unused, expired and unwanted pharmaceuticals from individuals. Three sites are in Genesee County:
- Batavia Police Department, parking lot, 10 W. Main St., City of Batavia
- Sheriff's deputies will staff collection at Pembroke Town Highway Barns, routes 5 & 77, East Pembroke
- Le Roy Police at Village Hall, 3 W. Main St., Village of Le Roy (near routes 5 & 19)
The "Keep Unwanted Medications and Chemicals Out of the Great Lakes" guide written by New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske tells why people should find a site nearby to return the unwanted drugs.
Researchers are increasingly documenting the impact of the bioactive chemical substances found in pharmaceuticals and personal care products on the aquatic environment. Based on what that research has shown, we do not want people flushing unwanted and unused medicines down the drain or toilet, Domske said.
The guide by Domske includes tips on how citizens can help reduce the impact of such substances as antibiotics, antidepressants, contraceptives, hormones, and vitamins on the Great Lakes resource that provides drinking water to 42 million people in the United States and Canada, and serves as habitat for a host of aquatic life.
A two-year research project funded by New York Sea Grant is underway to examine the effectiveness of advanced water treatment options, environmental levels, and the potential effects of pharmaceuticals in New York waters. That project will conclude in 2018.
For updates on New York Sea Grant activities, visit www.nyseagrant.org
New York Sea Grant is a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York, and one of 33 university-based programs under the National Sea Grant College Program of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Through a statewide network of integrated services, New York Sea Grant has been promoting coastal vitality, environmental sustainability, and citizen awareness of Great Lakes and marine resources since 1971.
According to an investigation in 2008 by the Associated Press, pharmaceuticals can be found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. The study also indicated that antibiotics, mood stabilizers, and sex hormones are among the drugs found in the drinking water supplies of at least 24 major metropolitan areas in the United States/
“Drugs and other synthetic chemicals are increasingly found in surface and groundwater sources, and can contaminate drinking water supplies and disrupt natural ecosystem processes," says New York Sea Grant Coastal Education Specialist Helen Domske.
Another environmental threat to the Great Lakes is very, very small. Tiny plastic beads used in hundreds of toiletries like facial scrubs and toothpastes are slipping through water treatment plants and turning up by the tens of millions in the Great Lakes. More on these "microplastics" here.