Senate to Hold Drug Water Hearings

Lawmakers press EPA to establish task force on contaminants
By Zach Samalin,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2008 6:50 AM CDT
A map shows locations in the U.S. where pharmaceuticals have been detected in drinking water.   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – Alarmed by an AP story, two top senators vowed yesterday to probe drug traces in US drinking water. Sen. Barbara Boxer and Sen. Frank Lautenberg plan to lead hearings next month to "protect our residents and clean up our water supply," Lautenberg said. The first of AP's three PharmaWater stories reported that antibiotics, sex hormones, and dozens of other drugs float in water consumed by 41 million Americans.

Pennsylvania lawmaker Allyson Schwartz called on the EPA to start a task force on the issue: "I was especially taken aback by the finding of 56 different pharmaceuticals discovered in the drinking water for the City of Philadelphia," she said. An EPA spokesman reacted by urging Americans to be more careful when throwing out prescription drugs.