[ RadSafe ] The solution to pollution

Jerry Cohen jjc105 at yahoo.com
Mon Aug 22 21:48:50 CDT 2011

    All sewage ends up in river water that may be the source of drinking water. 
So what??
Is it conceivable that the concentration of waste medications in the resultant 
drinking water 

could high enough to be a hazard. How about all the other stuff in sewage? 
Remember Paracelsus--"The dose makes the poison". Just because something is 
detectable does necessarily  make it a hazard.
    I reviewed the references you cited, and saw nothing that addresses my 
question. It seems that the simplistic reasoning that--if it's thare, it must be 
a hazard is used. We may be dealing with just another "science" scam similar to 
global warming. It is difficult to get funding for research on non-problems.

From: Steven Dapra <sjd at swcp.com>
To: Jerry Cohen <jjcohen at prodigy.net>; The International Radiation Protection 
(Health Physics) Mailing List <radsafe at agni.phys.iit.edu>
Sent: Mon, August 22, 2011 6:16:05 PM
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] The solution to pollution

Aug. 22

        Yes, don't you just love tautologies.

        Expired medications can end up in river water that is used for drinking 

        See for example:


        The article does not suggest any human health effects, but does note 
that a lot of pharmaceuticals end up in drinking water.  You can do a Google 
search using "medications in river water" and obtain more results.

Steven Dapra

At 03:05 PM 8/22/2011, you wrote:
>    Many years ago, when I began to work in the environmental health field,
> there existed a guideline to the effect, "The solution to pollution is
> dilution". In other words, if it could be assured that disposal of any harmful
> agent could not result in environmental concentrations above designated
> standards, the disposal method could be considered acceptable. Over time, this
> approach had apparently been superceded by the "Any is too much" philosophy
> where the detectible presence of anything harmful is not acceptable. The ALARA
> principle in radiation safety is a manifestation of this type of thinking.

>    Now, it seems that we have evolved to the next level. I recently noted a
> warning from our state Health Dept. to the effect that any disposal of 
> medications into the sewage system is forbidden. I've tried to imagine a set 
> conditions where this practice might conceivably result in some harmful 
> but I am stumped. When I inquired about the rational, I learned the reason for
> this prohibition is because the practice is illegal. OK, ---I give  up! Maybe
> someone on radsafe has a reasonable explanation.

> Jerry Cohen

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