[ RadSafe ] RadSafe Digest, Vol 723, Issue 1

Harrison, Tony Tony.Harrison at dphe.state.co.us
Wed Aug 24 08:49:02 CDT 2011

Date: Mon, 22 Aug 2011 19:48:50 -0700 (PDT)
From: Jerry Cohen <jjc105 at yahoo.com>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] The solution to pollution
To: "The International Radiation Protection \(Health Physics\) Mailing
	List"	<radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
Message-ID: <1314067730.78438.YahooMailRC at web82701.mail.mud.yahoo.com>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset=iso-8859-1

??? 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 approach had apparently been superceded by the "Any is too much" philosophy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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Date: Tue, 23 Aug 2011 09:44:46 -0400
From: Colette Tremblay <Colette.Tremblay at ssp.ulaval.ca>
Subject: Re: [ RadSafe ] The solution to pollution
To: Jerry Cohen <jjcohen at prodigy.net>, "The International Radiation
	Protection (Health Physics) Mailing	List"
	<radsafe at health.phys.iit.edu>
	<B35078C54714EF4AA54C843FED9FB5400E9B459F88 at EXCH-MBX-B.ulaval.ca>
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"

I understand that fish and amphibians are affected by the medications in water, since they actually live in the water. Reproductive anomalies have been observed.


Colette Tremblay
Sp?cialiste en radioprotection
Service de s?curit? et pr?vention
poste 2893

Fish & amphibians are considered sentinel species in this case.  The biggest problem with antibiotics in sewage is multi-drug resistance, while many of the other drugs behave as estrogen analogs.  (Googling either or both of those terms should provide some food for thought, if not convincing evidence.)

I wonder, Mr. Cohen, who you "inquired about the rational?"  Just because your local sewage treatment plant doesn't know the reason doesn't mean there is none.

Tony Harrison, MSPH
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Laboratory Services Division

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