Protect Our Water. Protect Our Environment.
Flushing or dumping prescription medication down a drain is not a good way to dispose of it. Minor amounts of medication can enter the environment, contaminate drinking water, and affect people and wildlife. Help protect Colorado’s most precious resources by taking your meds back to secure collection boxes!
Protect our drinking water
Pharmaceutical residues can affect people. Traces of medication have been detected in the drinking water of 24 major metropolitan areas across the country serving 46 million people.1
Protect our lakes and rivers
Another study showed that 80 percent of the sampled streams in the U.S. contain small amounts of prescription and over the counter medicines, personal care products, and other chemicals. Sewage treatment systems cannot remove all of these medications from water that are released into lakes, rivers or oceans. As a result, fish and other aquatic life have shown adverse effects from medicines in the water. And small amounts of medicine have been found in our drinking water.3
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and American Water Works Association (AWWA) both agree take-back programs are the best option for disposing of medications.
- AN AP INVESTIGATION: Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water. The Associated Press. http://hosted.ap.org/specials/interactives/pharmawater_site/ Accessed on February 2, 2015.
- 2014 Statewide Survey, Dec. 2014, by National Research Center, Boulder, for Public Awareness Work Group, Colorado Consortium for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention.
- Pharmaceuticals, Hormones, and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams: USGS Fact Sheet F5-027-02, June 2002. U.S. Geological Survey Website. http://toxics.usgs.gov/pubs/F5-207-02/ Updated May 6, 2014. Accessed February 2, 2015.