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Drugs in Drinking WaterJenna Steegstra Ms. Van SchouwenSCH3UWednesday,January 10th, 2018There are hormones in our water supply that originate from a variety of medications. You may have heard that some of these hormones could be affecting people’s fertility and changing the relative numbers of male and female babies being born. Is there any truth to these statements?Synopsis: As time goes on and technology becomes smarter nothing slows down the distraction that humankind has on this earth. Lately, pharmaceuticals, particles and other contaminants have been found in filtered drinking water. Now with further investigation more specific properties were found within the post filtration of our water throughout the environment. Knowing that hormones partake in many medications and products, finding that they are found in drinking water even after filtration, interest researchers into further investigation on how drugs in drinking water can affect fertility. Within these small amounts of hormones in drinking water it can cause hormonal imbalances in which may impact the gender outcome of a developing fetus. How Drugs get into Drinking Water, is it Safe? Through several ways, drugs are able to make their way out to our drinking water. Investigations show that many places found drugs in the drinking water and how they get there, admit the simplicity of flushing unwanted pills down the toilet; including waste from which when someone takes medication but disregards it through urine or digestion without fully absorbing the medications. Some drug matter can still be passed through even after the filtration of a water treatment factory (Figure 1) expressed by investigators. Even though the medication amounts were shown to be very tiny, measured in parts per billion or trillion concluding it was safe by company’s, other professionals and the government still can’t take chance that the levels are low enough to disclude it from harmful effects of nature’s health. The occurrence of drugs in drinking water, within the follow through of the water cycle, from low concentrations of nanograms to parts per trillion it has been increasingly brought up on and studies world wide have shown that the concentrations of drugs in drinking water impacted by wastewater are usually less than 100 ng/L and the concentrations for treated drinking water are way below 50 ng/L. Drugs in the water cycle diagram:Figure 1Why Now? Strong medications were used even before technology made its break. Detections of medications in drinking water coming from lakes or rivers made appearances in early 1970s but nothing over the top. However, recently with new technology the discoveries increasing were brought out within the past few years. This is found to be related to our technological advances and how in the early years of detection of medications in drinking water were found to be measured in parts per million (P.P.M.). Further allowing in today discoveries to let the experts use parts per trillion just after the advantage of using parts per billion was brought up. Types of Drugs/Contaminants in Water :When people take drugs and it passes through them, it also passes through filtration plants and circles back into our drinking water: antidepressants, pain killers, steroid pills, birth control, blood thinners, thyroid pills, acid reflux, caffeine, or cocaine and heroin. Including urban groundwater tested while clean had found various traces of the many medications. It evidently will all pass through us eventually, what goes in must come out. It’s not just harmful waste being flushed or tossed into our drinking water that can be cycled back to us, but also ‘plant medicines’ – atrazine, frequently used as a weed killer that sits on our lawns inevitably waiting to get soaked up or washed away by rain water.   Types of drugs including concentration (ng/L):Figure 2Health Effects from Drugs in Drinking Water : In such small amounts but large amounts consumed there are always risks involved. The methods of intake judging on what materials found in drinking water include an acceptable daily intake (ADI) formed around the information collected. Health risks from medications in drinking water were examined by using minimum therapeutic dose (MTD), which is a low dose of an effect towards concentrations of toxins observed within prescribed medications. University researchers of Pittsburgh have proven that mutation of breast cells were doubled in speed when they were exposed to the intake of estrogen from consumption of catfish taken by raw sewage runoff. Including the excess substances within the water that may have connecting effects to produce further problems in human health. Hormone Products Filtered from Water:Many pharmaceutical drugs and other chemicals containing hormones are shown to be found in our drinking water. Within the small amounts of these various substances being discovered more than often have many worried about the plenty effects it may have on certain individuals. In a 2008 U.S Geo Survey sampled fresh water around the country finding what was to be plenty of pill samples and hormone filled substances in our filtered drinking water. Followed up by the U.S. Geo Survey concluded, many harmful substances are so thin out that volume equal to a thimble tack full of water in an Olympic sized swimming pool- that they do not pursue in a risk to health. In other cases, researchers since found that these tiny amounts are still great enough to harm organisms constantly exposed, and further tested to have shown to harm human organelles. Drugs/ Products that Commonly Contain Hormones and Effects of taking them: Hormone pills are made for certain medical conditions within our bodies, with small parts that can alter the natural bodily functions. A mainly brought up hormone in water streams is estrogen, particularly brought through the sewage system by the passing of women’s urine from whom of which had taken birth control pills. Including many other pills that eventually get passed through us; Hormones can have many effects ones body and bodily functions, some effects that are included with taking hormone supplements are: growth, bone strength, reproduction, water balance and metabolic rate. Estrogens: a sex hormone from the ovaries. These estrogen pills are normally prescribed for menopausal symptoms, also partially for postmenopausal woman and the decrease of bone loss. Negatively when the pill is taken alone the estrogen can have a growth in cancer risks. Although estrogen when added with progesterone-like hormone it results to no relation of endometrial cancer risk. Corticosteroids: these pills help function in the same way the natural corticosteroids hormones work. The hormones have anti-inflammatory aspects and medical doctors often prescribe them to treat the chronic inflammation or many forms of arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus, asthma and types of sclerosis. What are Hormones and How they Work? Within our body there are organs and tissues that receive blood and oxygen, including some cells that release chemical substances known as a hormone produced by another part of the body – endocrine gland, carried through the blood the hormones act upon keeping the organs and tissues in check. The cells releasing these hormones respond to the other cells around it, plus the hormones can regulate the functions cells it was originally dispatch from. Reportedly for a cell to accept the hormone, it will need particular receivers for it. Therefore once the hormone and receiver connect, paths for the certain hormonal chemicals then proceed to flow through it allowing the regulatory response. Common endocrine hormones: Figure 3Examples of Effects in Hormone pills:Plenty of research has been done on hormones and the effects is has on gender production in various scenarios. Certain research has discussed how estrogen in water streams can affect reproductive systems in many fish, providing newly offsprings with deformed sex organs such like both male and female properties. If the streams do continue to increase with contaminants such as hormones it eventually will lead chemical compounds to cut photosynthesis in the streams natural plants by a gasping number of 99%, then as the fish eat these contaminated plants they too become further infected, however the chain reaction still goes on-to when us humans eat those fish or drink that birth control filled water. The outcome to humans from consuming these contaminated filled waters affect the natural balance of many hormones.  Hormone Imbalance Affecting Fertility :The most common fertility problem are found within those who also succlude without proper ovulation functions, the Mayo Clinic sought out that around 25 percent of  women are to have that leading mishap. As the little things in everyday life that may lead up to hormonal imbalances, there are quite a few disorders that affect women and PCOS being one of a few disorders knowingly so often causing infertility at a reproductive peek of a woman’s life. Hidden sources were found to affect women’s fertility and the hormone imbalancement, though in little amounts, certain contaminants will affect generous amounts of individuals. When pregnant main hormones will be: Estrogen- female sex characteristics, nutrition, produces milk glands. Progesterone- stimulation of uterine lining for fertilized egg. Though research doesn’t exactly express this, but commonly thought out ideas show that Testosterone- commonly found more during a pregnancy when carrying a male.  Testosterone (4) and Estrogen (5) Chemical formulas:                          Figure 4                                                              Figure 5      Hormonal Imbalances Examples:  Over time and evolution there has been many changes to people’s diets and lifestyles, continuing these vary ways may have an effect on fertility within a certain organ system, particularly in a female’s reproductive system. Such as continual bodily functions like menstruation and how regular or irregular periods can be, times when they seem abnormally heavier or lighter isn’t a good sign, indicating follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) or luteinizing hormone (LH) levels may be inconsistent. (Figure 6)Little changes may also lead to throw hormones off their constant pattern. Anger, stress, changes in weight or a new diet/ workout routine can all be part of ovulational inconveniences, proceeding with the main reason of hormone imbalance as to your own body’s system being out of whack. An example as one main endocrine malfunction is polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), Washington Centre for reproductive medicine expresses that this is a disorder that can affect up to and around 10 percent of women. PCOS is problematic when the reception between the brain, pituitary gland and ovaries have a disconnection. Commonly known by missed or sparing ovulation, missed or sparing menstruation cycles, increasing amounts of hormones such like testosterone (testes), dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (men and female hormone), outlying levels of LH, FSH and estrogen hormones. More noticeable ways is the excessive weight gain and trouble losing the added on pounds, hair or skin change, including endometrial cancer, cardiovascular diseases and depression or sleep apnea. Ovulation cycle:Figure 6In the bodies of water and lands near it and people around it there are many different provens that show how what women drink can affect the fertility and hormone balance. Studies shown that drinking water filled with atrazine may cause lower levels of estrogen and off rhythm menstrual cycles. Atrazines shown to be found within agriculture areas, established in surface/ groundwater and is widely used on around 75 percent of U.S. cornfields each crop season. Recent investigation was brought up to show increased findings of atrazine to modify the hormone imbalance.How this all Affects Number of Female to Male Babies being Born: In certain research it has shown how the altered hormones can affect development of male or female babies being born. In studies around the Arctic village show that a ratio of 2:1 of girls to boys are being born. Through monitoring the scientists assess how levels of man-made chemicals are in the blood of females, with much research the scientists found with investigation, that the chemicals found were able to mimic the hormones found in humans, and opt to conclude this change was able to alter the sex of a premature fetus by circulating blood through the reproductive system then adding certain hormones to alter the fetus to form a female. Women create both estrogen and testosterone. Testosterone belonging to the male sex gland but also being present in females too, ovaries being able to produce testosterone and estrogen is helpful when used in the reproductive system for repair and growth. Windup/ What we Could Do: Knowing all these harmful substances can surpass the water filtrations, the disrupting aspect of it all is ultimately up to the consumer. Plus the way to get rid of medicines and pharmaceuticals isn’t the least bit of easy. Technologies and at home devices still can’t seem to filter out all the traces. Although having a water supply for just drinking water is a better alternative than the intake of water supposedly used specially for plumbing and washing. Then suggestions for a safe and prevention of these few substances is all together to prompt people to avoid sinks and toilets as a waste acceptor for unwanted meds or other chemicals. Knowing that estrogen and progesterone (figure 3) are found in females for reproductive purposes having the excess hormones in drinking water may affect the fertility and changing the amounted number of females to males being born. Work Cited:  Organization, W. H. (2012). Pharmaceuticals in drinking water . Retrieved January 7, 2018 , from S. A. (n.d.). Can Birth Control Hormones Be Filtered from the Water Supply? Retrieved January 09, 2018, from, M. (2012, July 25). Hormone Imbalances and Infertility. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from John, D. T. (2017, August 14). List of Hormone Pills. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from List of Hormones. (n.d.). Retrieved January 09, 2018, from Doheny, K. (n.d.). Drugs in Our Drinking Water? Retrieved January 09, 2018, from Crowe , K., Cbc news . (2014, September 22). Drinking water contaminated by excreted drugs a growing concern. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from , W. H. (2011). Pharmaceuticals in drinking water . Retrieved January 9, 2018, from, L. K. (2011, November 28). Atrazine in Water Tied to Hormonal Irregularities. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from Brown, P. (2007, September 11). Man-made chemicals blamed as many more girls than boys are born in Arctic. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from Robinson , J., Webmd . (2016, November 08). Normal Testosterone and Estrogen Levels in Women. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from Hopkins, J. M. (n.d.). Hormones During Pregnancy. Retrieved January 09, 2018, from,P01220 Photos citation: Figure 1- Unprescribed: drugs in the water cycle Photograph. (2011).  Retrieved January 09, 2018, Figure 2-  Types of Drugs found I thin water samples Photograph. (n.d.). Retrieved January 09, 2018, Figure 3- Common endocrine hormones Photograph. (n.d.). Retrieved January 09, 2018, Figure 4- Testosterone Chemical formula Photograph. (n.d.). Retrieved January 09, 2018, Figure 5- Estrogen Chemical formula Photograph. (n.d.). Retrieved January 09, 2018, Figure 6- Ovulation cycle hormone levels Photograph. (n.d.). Retrieved January 09, 2018, 

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