06/30/13 Clean is community!
Got meds? Most of us do. Once they expire or are no longer needed, there is a better, safer and healthier solution than flushing them down the drain or throwing them in the garbage.
The Take Back Your Meds program offers drop-off locations throughout Washington and provides a safe way to take back, and dispose of, unwanted medications.
Click here to find a Medicine Take Back location nearest you. Note that controlled substances are only accepted at participating law enforcement offices.
Take Back locations accept over-the-counter medicine, vitamins, prescription medication, pet meds, inhalers, samples and liquid medications. A complete list of what you can bring to a Take Back location, and which items may need special handling or disposal, is available online.
For the items that cannot be dropped off, such as needles, empty prescription containers and syringes there are alternative disposal solutions available.
The Why bring medicines back? After years of flushing unused medicines down the drain, studies are now showing minute levels of pharmaceuticals in waterways and drinking water across the US.
In 1999-2000, the US Geological Survey tested 139 streams throughout the US for the presence of 95 pharmaceuticals. The tests found that 80% of streams contained 1 or more of these pharmaceutical chemicals, 50% of streams contained 7 or more pharmaceutical chemicals and 34% of streams contained 10 or more pharmaceutical chemicals(1).
Environmental Protection Agency studies in 2007 indicated that over 100 individual PPCPs (Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants) have been identified in environmental samples and drinking water(2).
In 2008 the Associated Press announced results of their investigative study, reporting that the drinking water for 46 million people has trace amounts of pharmaceuticals(3).
While more research is needed to determine long term health impacts on humans and aquatic ecosystems from PPCPs, we can help do our part now and dispose of medicine safely.
By keeping unused and expired medicine out of our waterways you can help keep drinking water, waterways and wildlife safe!