April 15, 2009

Hand over those old drugs

A joint effort of the Bristol and Southington water departments to keep unwanted medicine from going down the drain aims to protect the environment and the area’s drinking water.
“To dispose of medicines appropriately,” it takes more than flushing them down the toilet, said Robert Longo, the superintendent of Bristol’s water department.
To get rid of outdated or unneeded drugs, the two departments have scheduled a free collection from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, April 25 at the Southington Water Department.
“We are looking forward to it,” Longo said.
The Associated Press put the issue on the nation’s agenda last spring with a well-publicized investigation that found small quantities of drugs, including antibiotics, sex hormones, and anti-seizure compounds have been found in public drinking water supplied to over 40 million Americans.
Though concentrations of the medication are tiny, they may pose long-term threats to human health and the environment, the AP reported.
Longo said the medication collected will be burned in an appropriate incinerator or, in the case of narcotics, disposed of by the police after it’s logged in.
All medicines returned should be in their original bottle with the name and address of the patient crossed off with a permanent maker. Markers will be available. Be sure to leave the name of the medication visible for the pharmacist’s review, organizers said.
Longo said there won’t be any questions asked about the source of the drugs that are turned in.
Bob Badal, who heads Bristol’s Water Board, said the free collection is one of the first in Connecticut and politicians will be watching to see if residents respond.
Only Bristol and Southington residents are eligible to participate, Longo said.
Southington’s water department is located just off Route 229 at 605 Queen St., about a mile south of ESPN.
For more information, visit the Bristol Water Department’s website at bristolwaterdept.org or contact Longo at (860) 582-7431.
Residents of Southington may contact Thomas West, superintendent of Southington’s Water Department or John C. Dobbins R.Ph., Southington Water Commissioner at (860) 628-5593.

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com

No comments: