NPR logo Coming Right Up: A Tall Glass of Refreshing, [Anesthetizing ?] Water

Coming Right Up: A Tall Glass of Refreshing, [Anesthetizing ?] Water

What's on tap? Source: good_day hide caption

toggle caption
Source: good_day

The AP reports that "a vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans." If you live in the Passaic Valley, you're probably ingesting some carbamazepine. Who knew that there was estrogen and a mood stabilizer in New York City's famous tap water? (I didn't).

The fine print on this story: scientists say that there are only trace amounts of pharmaceuticals. "Trace" is a fancy science term for "very, very, very, very, very small." (It might even be smaller than that). Still, it does make you pause. Doesn't it?

So, as Mike Nizza, of The Lede, asked, "There Are Drugs in Drinking Water. Now What?" Well, we'll try to answer that question today. Joan Rose, a water researcher at Michigan State University, will explain the AP report and put us at ease. We hope. If you have questions for her, leave 'em here.