Statement from AWWA on AP story on pharmaceuticals in drinking water

The Associated Press will publish a series of articles regarding the occurrence of trace levels of pharmaceuticals in drinking water. While the issue of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water is not new, the series may prompt concern among consumers. Tom Curtis, deputy executive director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), issued statement in reponse to the investigation...

DENVER, CO, March 7, 2008 -- The Associated Press will publish a series of articles next week regarding the occurrence of trace levels of pharmaceuticals in drinking water. While the issue of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in water is not new, the series may prompt concern among consumers. Tom Curtis, deputy executive director of the American Water Works Association (AWWA), issued the following statement:

"The first priority of the water community is protecting public health. As part of that commitment, water professionals have been researching the occurrence of personal care products and pharmaceutical compounds in drinking water supplies for more than 30 years.

"Today's advanced technology has allowed scientists to detect more substances -- at lower levels -- than ever before. To date, however, research throughout the world has not demonstrated an impact on human health from pharmaceuticals in drinking water at the trace levels at which they have been found. People regularly consume or expose themselves to products containing these compounds in much higher concentrations through medicines, food and beverage and other sources.

"The ongoing conversation about these substances should remind us of how precious our source waters are and the need to protect them. The best and most cost-effective way to ensure safe water at the tap is to keep our source waters clean."

AWWA is the authoritative resource for knowledge, information, and advocacy to improve the quality and supply of water in North America and beyond.

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