Responsible Medication Disposal Safeguards Lives and Protects the Environment.
Many of us enjoy an unparalleled quality of life. We have diverse hobbies, numerous economic opportunities, tremendous cultural and outdoor resources and the best health care in the world. In fact, we often combine our hobbies with our passion for the natural environment. And protecting these resources is an important part of our overall enjoyment.
A concern we must all address is the disposal of medications and their effect on human life, wildlife, lakes, rivers, streams and groundwater throughout our country. This issue is relevant to everyone's personal health safety and the protection of our environment.
The SMARXT DISPOSAL TM campaign is designed to raise awareness about the potential environmental impact from improperly disposed of medications and to provide proactive guidance through proper disposal alternatives.
North Plains Groundwater Conservation District is proud to be a partner in the program to protect our water resources from unwanted chemicals and pharmaceuticals.
Pharmaceuticals detected in surface waters come primarily from patient use, and can be transferred into groundwater supplies from surface water sources. Small amounts of medicines pass through the human body without being metabolized completely and make their way to surface waters through municipal wastewater treatment systems. In addition, people in the past have flushed unused or expired medications, or poured them down the drain. Flushing was believed to be the safest way to dispose of medicine. Flushing medications was thought to protect children and pets from accidental ingestion of unused medication and decrease the chance of the medication being misused.
New technology is now capable of detecting low concentrations of chemical wastes, including small amounts of pharmaceuticals. Studies have shown municipal wastewater treatment facilities do not remove small amounts of pharmaceutical wastes and their by-products. Studies also now show that these pharmaceuticals are having detrimental effects on the organisms, animals and birds that are exposed to them through their water environment. The effects on humans are not yet known.
About The Partnership
SMARXT DISPOSAL is a unique public-private partnership between the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the American Pharmacists Association, and the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This support and involvement is what separates SMARXT DISPOSAL from other initiatives and it will ultimately make this campaign successful.