About Wellness Corporate Solutions

Monday, March 10, 2008

Drugs in Water: Wellness Must Go Green

A scary news report today that finds that U.S. municipal water supplies are full of trace amounts of pharmaceutical drugs.

From the story:

"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."

It's important to keep this in perspective: There is no known danger to human health at this point. (Although there are reports that fish in some rivers are hermaphroditic, or have characteristics of both sexes. Some think hormones from drugs in the water may be at play.)

For more details on this story, check, out the Wall Street Journal's Health Blog.

So what does this have to do with corporate wellness?

It's just a good reminder that employee wellness doesn't occur in a vacuum--that the environment has a role to play in both an individual's and company's health.

This link between green and wellness is something I've written about before. In fact, I've added green-workplace teleclasses to my company's offerings for wellness professionals. There seems to be a growing interest in combining wellness and greenness.

With the environment and public health being two huge issues over the coming years and decades, smart companies are finding ways to address both.

P.S. If your employees ask, most bottled water doesn't filter out pharmaceuticals.

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