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Tuesday morning, Cedar Key Police Chief Virgil Sandlin displayed the heavy bag of drugs that were surrendered May 25 as part of Hazardous Waste Day.
Residents were able to drop off un-needed or expired prescription and over-thecounter medications — no questions asked. The goal was to prevent improper disposal of drugs to prevent them from getting into the water supply.
According to Dr. Glenn D. Braunstein, chairman of the Department of Medicine at Cedars-Sinai, in "a study by the United States Geological Survey that tested for 95 contaminants in water supplies nationwide, 80 percent of the samples from 139 streams in 30 states had at least one of the substances being tested for, with an average of seven contaminants in each sample.
These findings included traces of anti-anxiety medications in the drinking water delivered to approximately 18.5 million Southern Californians. In western Montana, the study found aquifers had been penetrated by waste water from a high school, and contained trace elements of acetaminophen, caffeine, codeine, antibiotics and warfarin, in addition to a mood-stabilizing drug for bipolar disorder and nicotine.”
In order to prevent that from happening, Braunstein suggests:
Rather than throw loose pills or liquids down a drain, keep the medication well sealed in its original container. Remember to cross out the patient's name or remove the label. If you have chemotherapy drugs, ask your physician the best way to dispose of them.
• Return unwanted or unused drugs to a pharmacy or an approved collection program.
• Don't dispose of medicines with food waste to prevent animals from eating them.
• Don't throw empty medicine containers into a recycling bin.