C4P_3.gifTo flush or not to flush… Do you know what to do with your unused or expired medications? Most people don’t. The City of Garden Grove has recently teamed up with the Orange County Sanitation District to promote a countywide public education campaign to reduce the improper disposal of pharmaceuticals into the sewer system. The campaign’s tagline, “No Drugs Down the Drain” is meant to encourage Southern California residents to dispose of their unused or expired medications properly.

Scientists are concerned of possible environmental impacts associated with pharmaceuticals that are flushed down the sewer. In fact, researchers have detected the presence of pharmaceuticals in surface waters attributed from wastewater discharges. Although long-term health effects of pharmaceutical on marine life or humans are still not certain, risks may exist. It is prudent upon us to limit the disposal of unused or expired medications down the sewer system.

In the past, residents were advised to flush unwanted medications down the toilet; however, sewage treatment facilities are not designed to remove or destroy all chemicals present in pharmaceuticals. Therefore, pharmaceuticals present in wastewater can get into surface water and may cause a negative impact to the environment.

So what can we do with the expired medications we have at home? Throwing unused medications in a trash receptacle is the way to go. However, before doing so, crush and mix your old medications with undesirable materials such as used coffee grounds or dirt, seal them tightly and put them in the trash, away from children and pets.

Learn more at www.NoDrugsDownTheDrain.org.

PDF Files:
Household Hazardous Waste PDF file
No Drugs Down The Drain PDF file