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National 'Take-Back' Day Will Help Keep Harmful Pharmaceuticals Out of Great Lakes, UB Expert Says

Antibiotics, hormonal supplements and other drugs can harm waterways when flushed down the toilet or poured in the drain

Release Date: April 24, 2012

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- 'Take-back' initiatives such as the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day on Saturday, April 28, can help keep harmful pharmaceuticals out of waterways including the Great Lakes, says University at Buffalo expert Helen Domske.

Domske, associate director of UB's Great Lakes Program, says people dump antibiotics, hormonal supplements and other drugs down the drain every day without realizing that they're polluting the environment.

"Most treatment plants were not designed to deal with pharmaceuticals," Domske says. "The substances pass through the treatment facilities and are released into local waterways, posing a threat for fish and other aquatic organisms."

By enabling people to drop off unwanted medication at safe locations, take-back programs help keep our waters clean, she says.

For Domske's contact information and a Q&A with her on this important issue, visit UB's Faculty Experts section.

Media Contact Information

Charlotte Hsu
Director of News Content, Architecture and Regional Planning, Sciences
Tel: 716-645-4655
chsu22@buffalo.edu
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