Two significant contributors of pharmaceutical waste that makes it into the environment comes from human excretion and improper waste disposal of commercial chemical waste, including pharmaceuticals. While we may have limited control over the excretion of pharmaceuticals, we do have considerable control over the proper handling and disposal of chemicals in our environment. Commercial facilities that generate pharmaceutical waste must comply with federal and state laws that enforce better waste management practices. Unfortunately there are no easy solutions to safeguard our environment against the substances that are being incorrectly disposed of by households into trash cans, septic tanks and sewers. Without laws and procedures to direct their disposal, more pharmaceutical waste could make their way into the wrong hands or pollute our environment, affecting people, wildlife and ecosystems.
The long-term effects of exposure to pharmaceutical waste is unclear, although there are many concerns revolving around the issue. Chemicals from the drugs we take make their way into our waterways and our food supply. These substances can enter our food chain from fertilizer used on agricultural land, or the use of substances to enhance health and growth of livestock.
Our drinking water is generally clean and safe for us to ingest, but sewage treatment plants aren’t specifically designed to remove all of the chemicals from pharmaceutical waste. Low traces of pollution do end up in the water we drink. Our exposure to these elements over a long period of time could potentially build a resistance to antibiotics or cause other genetic alterations.
These substances tend to break down and dissolve easily, they don’t evaporate at normal temperatures, and depending on their chemical makeup some take a long time to degrade. This makes a perfect recipe for pharmaceutical waste to make their way into our rivers, lakes, streams and soil. The relationship with drug waste and aquatic life has shown to be quite intrusive. There is far more evidence that waste that gets into natural bodies of water are having momentous effects on its inhabitants. The unpredictability of pharmaceutical waste when mixed with other chemicals in the environment make us and wildlife vulnerable.
National Pharmaceutical Returns
It is important to dispose of the pharmaceutical waste you generate responsibly. Reverse distribution companies keep up with the current laws and have the knowledge and tools needed to correctly handle a facilities pharmaceutical waste. NPR works with commercial businesses to do their pharmaceutical returns the way they are most comfortable. This makes the process much more efficient and cost effective. You can do your part in helping our environment and your community buy taking steps toward a less polluted world.