Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Improper Disposal Of Medications Can Lead To Abuse and Danger

According to health officials, ineffective disposal of unwanted or expired medications can lead to abuse, pollution or accidental ingestion.

Because they may have been concerned about children or others accidentally ingesting unwanted or expired drugs, many consumers have traditionally disposed of them by flushing them down the toilet or a drain. Donna Artery, a pharmacist with the Wyoming Department of Health, said this may cause pollution in wastewater that can harm fish and other aquatic wildlife. "Unintentional human exposure to the chemicals found in medications can also happen when the water is eventually reused," she said.

"The trash is really the best way to get rid of the medicines you don't need anymore to ensure no one swallows them either by accident or on purpose," Artery said. "And it's a good idea to modify the contents to discourage consumption."


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