Oct. 27, 2010 /EIN Presswire/ – Fresh evidence that pharmaceutical companies are contaminating the world’s water supply came today in the form of a new U.S. Geological Survey study that measured contaminants more than 1000 times normal wastewater levels downstream from pharmaceutical factories.

The study, unveiled today in the journal Environmental Science & Technology, confirms growing suspicion that drug companies are dumping pain killers and other products into the water supply with little regard for potential health hazards.

Associated Press research estimates that at least 46 million people in the U.S. are regularly exposed to tap water contaminated by pharmaceuticals. More than 100 different drugs have been detected across North America, Europe and Asia.

The U.S. Geological Survey team collected effluent samples leaving 26 wastewater treatment plants across the United States.

The industry has insisted that it applies strict controls to protect its products from entering the water supply.

Health authorities fear that the mix of compounds in the water supply, ingested by people year after year, can have cumulative adverse effects, building up toxins in humans and other animals.

Many drugs are not regulated as water pollutants, and as such no “safe” exposure limits have ever been set.

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