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YOUR MEDICINE and THE ENVIRONMENT Presented by: Berks County Conservation District Berks County Solid Waste Authority.

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Presentation on theme: "YOUR MEDICINE and THE ENVIRONMENT Presented by: Berks County Conservation District Berks County Solid Waste Authority."— Presentation transcript:

1 YOUR MEDICINE and THE ENVIRONMENT Presented by: Berks County Conservation District Berks County Solid Waste Authority

2 DID YOU KNOW… In the United States, sales of over-the-counter medicines have increased by 60% since the 1990s. 1 In 2006, the U.S. prescription volume rose to 3.7 BILLION prescriptions. 2 1 Ann Pistell, Maine Department of Environmental Protection. Presentation at Northeast Water Science Forum,August 9, “IMS Intelligence.360: Global Pharmaceutical Perspectives 2006”, IMS Health Report, February 22, 2007.

3 …THAT’S A LOT OF PILLS! But what difference does it make?

4 It makes a difference HERE ! and HERE

5 HOW DO PHARMACEUTICALS GET INTO THE ENVIRONMENT? THINK ABOUT THIS…

6

7 Some of the medicine is absorbed into our bodies-

8 -And the unused medicine passes through the body and is flushed down the toilet.

9 Many people think that flushing unused or old medicine is the best way to dispose of it. BUT IT ISN’T!

10 Your Pet’s Medicines Count Too!

11 Many of the medications poured down a drain or flushed in a toilet cannot be completely removed from the wastewater.

12 Then the treated water is discharged to a stream, lake, or river. The wastewater is treated to remove the pollutants required by law.

13 However, tiny amounts of those prescriptions remain in the water even after treatment… This may cause some problems for fish, frogs, and other wildlife. The City of Philadelphia found 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in treated drinking water. (AP 3/10/08) We don’t know how it affects humans yet.

14 PROBLEM : You Want to Get Rid of Unwanted Meds! Expired medications lose effectiveness. Too many bottles can be confused with current meds.

15 So what should I do with this stuff?

16 FIRST…

17 SECOND… Take your unwanted prescriptions and other over the counter (OTC) medicines to a collection event, OR Place them in the trash.

18 2009 Berks County Pharmaceutical Collection Event When: Saturday, March 21, :00 AM – 2:00 PM Where: Giant Food Stores at: 3935 Perkiomen Ave. - Exeter Twp N. 5 th St. - Muhlenburg Twp.

19 Place Meds in the Trash 1. Take unused, unneeded, or expired prescription drugs out of their original containers. 2. Mix the medicines with used coffee grounds or kitty litter. 3. Place the medicines in non-descript containers, such as empty cans or sealable bags. This will further ensure that the drugs are not diverted into the environment, or accidentally ingested by children or pets.

20 FOR MORE INFORMATION, please contact the Berks County Solid Waste Authority at

21 THE ENVIRONMENT THANKS YOU!


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