Monday, September 15, 2008

Hospital Dumping A Health Concern

An Associated Press story reports that hospitals and health care facilities of all places are endangering the lives of people by dumping discarded, spoiled, and expired meds down the drain. Although there is a call to stop this practice through legislature, the situation worsens with no regulations in place. It is believed that as many as 250 million pounds of unused meds as well as their packaging are dumped down heath-care facility drains annually.

Concern about this massive problem has led public officials to call for testing of drinking water for contaminants that may be linked to the dumping, given many drugs used in hospitalas are highly toxic.
A survey of 45 long-term care facilities intimated that two-thirds dumped unused drugs into sewerage systems. The Environmental Protection Agency listed pharmaceutical dumping as a major public-health concern and called for government regulation to challenge the waste disposal methods used by health facilities.

How ironic, that the facilities that we consider health promoting are responsible for just the opposite. Weigh in on this issue. To learn more about this breaking story and a possible link between the contamination and gene mutations and cancer, check this Associated Press story. Be sure to post your comments.


Kelly said...

Wow. What irony! The fact that the medical profession is supposed to be curing us of our ills, yet may at the same time be causing them is unbelievable.

jackie said...

"A survey of 45 long-term care facilities intimated that two-thirds dumped unused drugs into sewerage systems." I wondered where the other 1/3 of unused drugs are going...? I found this article shocking! Health care facilities should have regulations for prescription medicines by this day and age!
I also found a differnt type of irony in this article. In hospitals and other health care facilities medications are kept under lock down. Passwords, codes, even figure print scans are neeeded to access them. And then this article informs us that the unused medds are simply being thrown down the drain. Seems a little unresponsible for health care professionals.

Hannah said...

I think that it is terrible that health care facilities are getting away with dumping unused meds down the drain. Where is their commmon sense? They are endangering the well-fare of innocent people.

Teresa said...

Kelly has a great point in saying that the health professionals are helping and yet endangeringthe public...I mean the people in healthcare are supposed to be educated and understand the harm that meds that are not prescribed can cause! I find it unbelievable and I am disappointed that this sort of thing is happening

Kelly said...

Thanks Teresa!

I also have to agree with Jackie's statement. It seems as though it can be so difficult to even get medicine or prescriptions from pharmacies as an average person, yet when the people in the medical profession (who should have a good understanding of how dangerous the drugs could be) get ahold of them, they are careless with them.

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