According to a recent Los Angeles Times article, artificial sweeteners have been found in water samples collected from the Grand River in Ontario, Canada. According to the article, experts believe the sweeteners flowed into the river via wastewater treatment plants that empty into the river and its tributaries.
The article points out that “antidepressants, antibiotics, steroids and fragrances are among the products that have been detected in surface waters.” All these products are referred to as PPCPs or pharmaceuticals and personal care products. As you can read on our DrinkTap PPCP page, these items can consist of a wide range of products such as medicine, including hormones, and consumer products such as fragrances, lotions, sunscreens and cleaning products, to name just a few.
These types of products are oftentimes found in trace amounts in tap water; however that does not necessarily mean that they are a health concern when in low concentrations. But as consumers we should still be careful of what we are putting down the drain and flushing down the toilet. We advise you to contact your local pharmacy for how to properly dispose of medicine, and contact your local health department for how to properly dispose of cleaning products, pesticides and automotive products.