facebook
twitter
rss
account
search
search
 

Trash best way to dispose of unused drugs

May 19, 2012 at 1:10 AM   |   Comments

ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 19 (UPI) -- Discarding unused medications in the trash is a better way to limit the risk of poisoning and reduce air and water pollution, U.S. researchers suggest.

First author Sherri Cook, a doctoral student at the University of Michigan, and Nancy Love, a professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering, compared the total emissions created by take-back, trash and toilet disposal methods of leftover medications.

In most cases, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends throwing the medications away, but only if people don't have access to a take-back program. Flushing unused pills down the toilet is no longer advised, as the active ingredients in drugs have been found in drinking water and aquatic environments, but about 40 percent still flush unused medication down the toilet, Cook explained.

In medication take-back programs, the returned drugs are incinerated as hazardous waste, Cook said.

"National policy seems to be changing to support take-back programs, and we don't know if that's justified," Cook said in a statement.

The study, published in Environmental Science & Technology, found if everyone trashed their extra drugs, the amount of active pharmaceutical ingredients in the environment would be significantly reduced.

The researchers encourage policymakers to focus on getting more people to get rid of medicines by trash, rather than take-back.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
Most Popular
1
Mom recovering after emergency surgery to save quadruplets Mom recovering after emergency surgery to save quadruplets
2
Surgeons in Australia perform heart transplant with 'dead heart' Surgeons in Australia perform heart transplant with 'dead heart'
3
Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children Morning exercise helps calm ADHD symptoms in children
4
Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95 Yoga guru BKS Iyengar dies at 95
5
Michelle Obama made a 'Turn Down for What' Vine inspired by turnips Michelle Obama made a 'Turn Down for What' Vine inspired by turnips
Trending News
Around the Web
x
Feedback