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E-M:/ pharmaceuticals

I'm curious about a few things having to do with the proper disposal of pharmaceuticals.

First, have contamination studies been done in sparsely populated areas where folks might dispose of them down the drain and then into septic tanks and drain fields?  As the old saying goes, the solution to pollution is dilution.  I wonder if all the studies have been done where population densities have been relatively high (at least 3 or 4 residences per square mile or in municipal sewage systems).

Second, are there harmful byproducts of the incineration of pharmaceuticals?

Finally, there is considerable risk I would think if folks keep their pharmaceuticals around until a collection date that may be a year or more away (accidentally taking expired drugs, kids or pets getting into them, etc.).  I wonder how this risk compares to them getting into ground and surface waters by flushing them down the drain.  There's also the carbon footprint involved in making a special trip to a collection site, especially if you live in a rural area where the nearest site may be 50 miles away or more.


Doug Welker
26344 Tauriainen Road
Pelkie MI 49958
(906) 338-2680