Integrative Health Blog

Holistic health: What am I drinking?

Posted by admin on Tue, Apr 06, 2010

by Cathy Scoblionko NP
image_waterIt seems that something is in the news almost daily about safety concerns surrounding tap water. We know that there are elements and compounds deliberately added (e.g. fluoride, chlorine) to our water supply. Some enter the supply through daily activities of bathing the topical medications and cosmetics off the skin, or eliminating them through bowel and bladder excretions. Many products enter the water via excretions of food animals. Factory farmed animals are often fed antibiotics and hormones which are excreted and drain into the water supply. For many years we have been told to flush away unused and unwanted medications.
It is now clear that the filtering processes and water treatments do not remove all the medications and hormones that end up there. Some questions that come to mind are: How dangerous is that? What is being done about it on a large scale? What do I need to do to protect myself? What do I need to do to prevent adding to the problem?

What level is safe?

Most of the information I found in my search seemed to come from the same source. I didn't see anything on the FDA website regarding the safety of the level of pharmaceuticals in the water. There do not seem to be any guidelines, as yet, regarding safe levels of medications and hormones in the water. Apparently, there is some research being done to find out what is safe and what is not. Regardless of how safe it might be to drink medications, I prefer not to have any. There is no reason for my body to have them there and if they are not a nutrient then they are foreign. However, they are not going away any time soon so, now what?

• Try to find a give back program for unused medications, supplements, and cosmetics.

• Do not flush them down the toilet or the drain.

• Don't buy medications, supplements, creams, etc. that you have no intention of using.

• Buy small amounts at a time.

• Eat organically grown food.

• Drink filtered water (it won't take out medications but will take out other things and decrease your toxic load overall.)

Here are some web sites that will provide some more information to help you decide what you may want and need to do:,content=1868


Cathy Scoblionko NP, is a Masters prepared Board Certified Adult Nurse Practitioner (ANP-BC) at National Integrated Health Associates, NIHA, an integrative medicine and dental center serving the Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia metropolitan area. Her areas of specialty are holistic primary care, women's health, and anti-aging.  

Topics: holistic health, integrative health