Studies find more chemicals, medications in drinking water


Tiani Jones

A study has found what starts out in someone else’s personal medicine cabinet, is often finding its way into the glass of water consumed by Tennessee residents.

There was a time Tennesseans were instructed to flush unused drugs down the toilet, but new studies, including one done here in the Volunteer State, foundĀ  an alarming number of chemicals in drinking water.

“The pathway from the toilet to the stream is pretty direct,” explained James Kingsbury, a Hydrologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

According to the USGS’s latest study, Tennessee residents are consuming several surprising compounds such as caffeine, hand sanitizers, Ibuprofen, Prozac and insect repellant.

“These are compounds that aren’t typically monitored in drinking water,” Kingsbury said.

Sergeant Charles Warner of the Franklin Police Department added, “I think that the average unassuming person probably thinks that they’re trying to do the right thing by disposing of the medication, but really all they’re doing is compounding a very complex problem.”

In an effort to encourage Tennessee residents to dispose of unneeded or expired medications correctly, several Mid-State police departments are sponsoring drug drop off programs on Saturday.

In Franklin from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. residents and members of surrounding communities can drop off prescription and over-the-counter medication.

Also on Saturday, in Rutherford County drop off sites will be set up at LaVergne City Hall, the Smyrna Police Department and Middle Tennessee Medical Center in Murfreesboro.

In Metro-Nashville, residents can drop off unwanted drugs at marked green boxes at their local police precinct.

For more information on drop off locations visit

One Response

  1. This is not new how long has it been going on with out out cry now it very late in he game

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