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Source: The Wall Street Journal

Report: Unused drugs end up in LI water supply


Posted: March 7, 2013
Originally Published: March 5, 2013

HAUPPAUGE, N.Y. — According to a new report, more than half of Suffolk County, Long Island's medical and health facilities flush their unused medications, which then wind up in the water supply.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment found that of the 59 facilities it reviewed, 51 percent reported flushing medications down the toilet.

Newsday (http://bit.ly/ZkO9dy ) says that a quarter of the facilities use a reverse distributor service to collect the unused drugs. It says 12 percent participate in a take-back program sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency.

The Farmingdale environment group is pushing for new state legislation and guidelines that would ban flushing of medications.

Legislator William Spencer said some facilities flush medications to prevent substances like morphine and Percocet from getting into the hands of others.