Water resources, environment benefited by National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

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Nov. 1, 2013 -- The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day took place on Oct. 26, 2013, and was coordinated by the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA).

The program provided the public a safe means of disposing prescription drugs, while also educating them about the potential for abuse of medications, as well as gave them an opportunity to help keep the nation's water resources clean, preserve the environment and protect public health.

The Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago's (MWRD's) Calumet, O'Brien, and Stickney Water Reclamation Plants served as collection sites for the event, and 231 pounds of unwanted or expired medications were taken out of circulation.

According to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (U.S. DEA), almost three million pounds of prescription medications have been removed from circulation during National Take Back Days. 

Wastewater treatment facilities are not designed to remove minute concentrations of pharmaceuticals, and as a result, the chemicals could wind up in streams and waterways and could potentially have a negative impact on water quality. As such, this program strives to highlight the importance of reducing the amount of pharmaceuticals disposed of before they have a chance to reach treatment facilities and/or the waterways. 

See other article about National Take Back Day here.


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