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There are unregulated pharmaceuticals in most city water that comes from rivers

If your water source is a river and there are cities upstream of where you live, then it is very likely that you are drinking water that contains trace amounts of pharmaceuticals. Studies have shown that these can form a toxic mix of chemicals that affect human cell growth. And one chemical, methadone, can turn into cancer-causing NDMA at levels that may cause cancer. Chemicals such as estrogen, testosterone, cocaine, and ibuprofen are commonly present.

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People call me every day to review their water reports and discuss the type of water purification system they may need. i base my recommendations on local water reports because in my view it is the only way to know what you need. Some people call and say they want to remove everything, but 'everything' may or may not be in your water. To buy the correct water filter for your home it is advisable to start by studying your local water source. And that is the first thing I look for in a water report. Where is your water coming from? Water comes from mountains, it comes from lakes, it comes from rivers, and it comes from wells. Each of these sources has a different set of issues.

This article discusses the issue of pharmaceuticals in river water. If your water source contains unregulated drugs then you need a reverse osmosis system to remove them.

If your water source is a river and there are cities upstream of you then there are trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in your water. Because these amounts are very low, at present the government considers them to be of little consequence to your health. However, a number of studies now contradict this and suggest that even trace amounts of pharmaceuticals in drinking water can affect human cell growth. This illustration highlights the problem:

Drugs in Drinking Water, Pharmaceuticals in Water


This is a serious national issue...not to be taken lighly. When your water source is a river and there are cities upstream then I recommend you use reverse osmosis at the kitchen sink to remove these contaminants. One of the most prominent drugs in water is estrogen, which can have profound effects on both men and women. But, the presence of one drug suggests the presence of any drug consumed by the people who live upstream of you. Do you really wanting to be ingesting pharmaceuticals without even knowing it?


Cities with pharmaceuticals in water


 This study finds 81 unregulated contaminants entering Puget Sound from waster water treatment plants:  Study finds 81 emerging contaminants in Puget Sound wastewater | Water Technology ( If this is true in Puget Sound then it is true in cities across America whose water source is river water where there are cities upstream.


You can check out these studies showing the impact of this mix of pharmaceuticals on cell function for yourself:

How Meds In Water Can Impact Human Cells: 


Drugs In Our Drinking Water: 


Scientists Trace Cancer Causing Chemical: 


Scientits Say 60% of Male Fish Bear Eggs

Another serious issue on rivers in agricultural areas is the presence of numerous unregulated pesticides. Because these chemicals are not regulated, just like the pharmaceuticals, they don't show up in your local water report. But studies have shown them to be present in every river in the midwest so you can assume they are present...because they are.

Pesticides block male hormones


Unregulated Pesticides found in midwestern rivers: 

Only reverse osmosis can remove pharmaceuticals from drinking water. There are some filters that claim otherwise but read the fine print. They don't. 

Reverse Osmosis to Remove Pharmaceuticals from Drinking Water

Sweetwater's Custom Reverse Osmosis System

Learn more about my reverse osmosis system here


James P McMahon at Zion National Park

My name is Jim McMahon and I bring healthy water to one family at a time.

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