Pharmaceutical pollution widespread in Southeast U.S. streams

Summit County Citizens Voice

Many streams are at risk from pharmaceutical pollution

Arc of the river. Pharmaceutical pollution from discarded medication and other sources have been found in streams all over the U.S. @bberwyn photo.

Staff Report

Traces of pain-relieving substances, diabetes drugs and allergy medicines are widespread in small streams across the Southeast, especially in urban zones like Raleigh, North Carolina, the U.S. Geological Survey found in a new study.

The USGS in 2014 sampled 59 small streams in portions of Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia for 108 different pharmaceutical compounds and detected one or more pharmaceuticals in all 59 streams. The average number of pharmaceuticals detected in the streams was six.

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