If you’re cleaning out your house, it might be time to check your medicine cabinet for any expired prescriptions. However, before you flush any unused medications down the toilet, you need to learn about the impacts that your decision will have.
For the benefit of your own safety as well as that of the greater community, you need to dispose of your expired pharmaceuticals properly. With that in mind, here are reasons not to pour your medicine down the drain.
Unused Medicine Can Clog Your Drain
Flushing any outside products in your toilet other than toilet paper is a surefire way to clog it, and medicine is no different. Even if you pour the individual pills down the toilet, depending on the type, some might dissolve and create a sticky residue in your plumbing.
This is especially true if you pour the medicine down the sink drain. Whether your kitchen sink has a garbage disposal or not, you shouldn’t pour unused medicine down it when there are better methods for disposing of it.
It Enters the Local Water Supply
Studies by local governments show that when someone flushes medicine down the drain, it enters the local wastewater treatment system and affects the municipal population. Although these treatment centers can remove significant pollutants from the water supply, they’re generally not effective enough to prevent exposure to these medications from tap water.
To prevent yourself from exposure to these chemicals, you should invest in a high-quality water filter. However, a one-time purchase will only protect you for so long, so you must learn why regular water filter maintenance is important.
The Polluted Water Damages the Environment
When pharmaceuticals pollute water, the water also contaminates lakes, rivers, and oceans, hurting fish and other wildlife in the process. Medications often contain endocrine-disrupting compounds that are toxic to animal reproductive systems. If you want to preserve the lives of aquatic species everywhere, think twice before you get rid of your medicine in your drain.
Overall, if you have any unused medicine in your home, find a local drug drop-off bin at a local police station, firehouse, or pharmacy. Now that you know a few reasons not to pour your medicine down the drain, you can make the safest choices for yourself and your community.