Unused Drugs Flood Long Island Water Supply: Report

Tuesday, Mar 5, 2013  |  Updated 8:02 AM EDT
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Unused Drugs Flood Long Island Water Supply: Report

Tim Graham

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More than half of Suffolk County, Long Island's medical and health facilities flush their unused medications, which then wind up in the water supply, according to a new report.

Citizens Campaign for the Environment found that of the 59 facilities it reviewed, 51 percent reported flushing medications down the toilet.

A quarter of the facilities use a reverse distributor service to collect the unused drugs. It says 12 percent participate in a take-back program sponsored by the federal Drug Enforcement Agency, reports Newsday.

The Farmingdale environment group is pushing for new state legislation and guidelines that would ban flushing of medications.

Legislator William Spencer said some facilities flush medications to prevent substances like morphine and Percocet from getting into the hands of others.

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