Thanks Boomers, now you’ve poisoned us all

by lestro

Thank you Baby Boomers. Thank you for your total lack of foresight and inability to recognize the consequences of everything you have done. You guys did a great job of making the world great for you and leaving it a total wreck for everyone who comes after you.

This morning’s report that millions of Americans are drinking water polluted with multiple pharmaceuticals reminded me of the movie “Idiocracy,” where all the crops die because the idiots in charge decide that if water is good, Brawndo (a gatorade-like substance) would be better and start using it to irrigate their crops.

It’s kind of like that, only slower and real:

“A vast array of pharmaceuticals — including antibiotics, anti-convulsants, mood stabilizers and sex hormones — have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans, an Associated Press investigation shows.

To be sure, the concentrations of these pharmaceuticals are tiny, measured in quantities of parts per billion or trillion, far below the levels of a medical dose. Also, utilities insist their water is safe.

But the presence of so many prescription drugs — and over-the-counter medicines like acetaminophen and ibuprofen — in so much of our drinking water is heightening worries among scientists of long-term consequences to human health.”

But wait, it gets better:

“And while researchers do not yet understand the exact risks from decades of persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals, recent studies — which have gone virtually unnoticed by the general public — have found alarming effects on human cells and wildlife…”

I’m no expert, but isn’t “persistent exposure to random combinations of low levels of pharmaceuticals” ostensibly what killed Heath Ledger?

Ask the pharmaceutical industry whether the contamination of water supplies is a problem, and officials will tell you no. “Based on what we now know, I would say we find there’s little or no risk from pharmaceuticals in the environment to human health,” said microbiologist Thomas White, a consultant for the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America.

But at a conference last summer, Mary Buzby — director of environmental technology for drug maker Merck & Co. Inc. — said: “There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms.”

Recent laboratory research has found that small amounts of medication have affected human embryonic kidney cells, human blood cells and human breast cancer cells. The cancer cells proliferated too quickly; the kidney cells grew too slowly; and the blood cells showed biological activity associated with inflammation.

Also, pharmaceuticals in waterways are damaging wildlife across the nation and around the globe, research shows. Notably, male fish are being feminized, creating egg yolk proteins, a process usually restricted to females. Pharmaceuticals also are affecting sentinel species at the foundation of the pyramid of life — such as earth worms in the wild and zooplankton in the laboratory, studies show.

While the levels might be too small to clearly effect humans (though that apparently seems to be debatable as well…), the real issue will be the effect on the food chain, especially in ways we can’t understand. As these chemicals find their way into the tiniest organisms, they make their way all the way up the food chain, compounding as they go.

And since we are all in this together, logic dictates these problems eventually make their way up to humans.

So, with all that in mind, I say, once again, thank you Baby Boomers. This is the world you made.

Why do you still think you should still be leading it?

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: