Most of us pollute the water
You recycle glass bottles and newspapers. You bought a canvas grocery tote to replace plastic bags. You drive a hybrid vehicle. Yet every time you purchase over-the counter and prescription medication, you are most likely contributing to the contamination of our national water supply -- and you never even knew it.
In 2007, a study sponsored by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the American Pharmacists Association found that many public water supplies around the U.S. were contaminated with pharmaceuticals.
A study of Lake Michigan water samples found traces of ibuprofen, Tylenol, beta blockers from heart medication and birth-control pill hormones. An examination of treated drinking water in the Grand Rapids, MI area contained the anti-seizure medication carbamazepine.
Medications get into the water supply every time we throw medication in the trash or flush it down the toilet.
Researchers acknowledged that at this time, the drugs found in water samples were measured in parts per trillion, and were not considered to be a threat to human consumption. However, these scientists also agreed that no one knows the dangers associated with being exposed to low dose medications over a lifetime.
The aquatic life in these lakes and streams are not as fortunate. Already scientists have discovered male fish that grew female ovarian tissue due to their long-term exposure to birth-control hormones in the water. Here's a bigger question: Are we eating these fish?
Consumers are advised to be warned about taking medication. Not only could you hurt your body with unforeseen side effects, but your demand for these medications will be taking a toll on the environment.
Dr. Steven J. Kamego
Get rid of the penny
I read your recent editorial, "Get rid of worthless penny." I realize that it costs more to make one than its value, and I certainly agree with everything that was said.
The usefulness of the penny has passed. Some of the major utilities have started a program to round off the numbers, which is the solution. Our elected officials will not abolish the penny.
We should just round off. If the cost is 3 cents or over, just go to the next highest nickel, and if 2 or less, you can drop it. By rounding, the numbers will balance out over a period of time. The merchants can still price using the penny; however, it should be rounded at the register.
I have completely eliminated the use of the penny at the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Fort Mill. They will no longer accept pennies and will not maintain any in the register. I believe it will be up to the merchants to stop accepting them, and when they are not used, they will stop making them -- hopefully. If not, I would support a referendum.