Drugs Found In Drinking Water Of 24 Cities; Louisville Included

LOUISVILLE, KY -- At least one pharmaceutical was detected in tests of treated drinking water supplies for 24 major metropolitan areas, according to an Associated Press survey of 62 major water providers and data obtained from independent researchers.

Only 28 tested drinking water. Three of those said results were negative; Dallas says tests were conducted but results are not yet available. Thirty-four locations said no testing was conducted.

Test protocols varied widely. Some researchers looked only for one pharmaceutical or two; others looked for many.

Some water systems said tests had been negative, but the AP found independent research showing otherwise. Both prescription and non prescription drugs were detected.

Because coffee and tobacco are so widely used, researchers say their byproducts are good indicators of the presence of pharmaceuticals. Thus, they routinely test for, and often find, both caffeine and nicotine's metabolite cotinine more frequently than other drugs.

Here's the list of metropolitan areas, with the number of pharmaceuticals detected and some examples of specific drugs that were found, or where tests were negative, not conducted or awaiting results:

Albuquerque, N.M.: tests negative
Arlington, Texas: 1 (unspecified pharmaceutical)
Atlanta: 3 (acetaminophen, caffeine and cotinine)
Austin, Texas: tests negative
Baltimore: no testing
Birmingham, Ala.: no testing
Boston: no testing
Charlotte, N.C.: no testing
Chicago: no testing
Cincinnati: 1 (caffeine)
Cleveland: no testing
Colorado Springs, Colo.: no testing
Columbus, Ohio: 5 (azithromycin, roxithromycin, tylosin,
virginiamycin and caffeine)
Concord, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and sulfamethoxazole)
Dallas: results pending
Denver: (unspecified antibiotics)
Detroit: (unspecified drugs)
El Paso, Texas: no testing
Fairfax, Va.: no testing
Fort Worth, Texas: no testing
Fresno, Calif.: no testing
Honolulu: no testing
Houston: no testing
Indianapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Jacksonville, Fla.: no testing
Kansas City, Mo.: no testing
Las Vegas: 3 (carbamazepine, meprobamate and phenytoin)
Long Beach, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Los Angeles: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Louisville, Ky.: 3 (caffeine, carbamazepine and phenytoin)
Memphis, Tenn.: no testing
Mesa, Ariz.: no testing
Miami: no testing
Milwaukee: 1 (cotinine)
Minneapolis: 1 (caffeine)
Nashville, Tenn.: no testing
New Orleans: 3 (clofibric acid, estrone and naproxen)
New York City: no testing
Northern New Jersey: 7 (caffeine, carbamazepine, codeine,
cotinine, dehydronifedipine, diphenhydramine and sulfathiazole)
Oakland, Calif.: no testing
Oklahoma City: no testing
Omaha, Neb.: no testing
Orlando, Fla.: no testing
Philadelphia: 56 (including amoxicillin, azithromycin,
carbamazepine, diclofenac, prednisone and tetracycline)
Phoenix: no testing
Portland, Ore.: 4 (acetaminophen, caffeine, ibuprofen and
Prince George's and Montgomery counties, Md.: no testing
Riverside County, Calif.: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Sacramento, Calif.: no testing
San Antonio: no testing
San Diego: 3 (ibuprofen, meprobamate and phenytoin)
San Francisco: 1 (estradiol)
San Jose, Calif.: no testing
Santa Clara, Calif.: no testing
Seattle: no testing
Southern California: 2 (meprobamate and phenytoin)
Suffolk County, N.Y.: no testing
Tucson, Ariz.: 3 (carbamazepine, dehydronifedipine and
Tulsa, Okla.: no testing
Virginia Beach, Va.: tests negative
Washington, D.C.: 6 (carbamazepine, caffeine, ibuprofen,
monensin, naproxen and sulfamethoxazole)
Wichita, Kan.: no testing.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

AP-NY-03-09-08 1319EDT

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