Target: Members of Congress
Goal: Keep dangerous chemicals out of America’s ecosystems with a nationwide drug take-back program
As more and more Americans rely on prescription medication to maintain their health, more and more drugs ultimately end up where they don’t belong. Small children swallow pills by accident, while teenagers experiment with drugs prescribed to their parents or friends. And in the absence of a comprehensive drug disposal system, many medications end up polluting local ecosystems or even contaminating drinking water.
While the full extent of pharmaceutical pollution is not known, the United States Geological Survey has found antibiotics, antidepressants, hormones, and other chemicals in waterways around the country. Prozac has even been found in the brains of fish. Large quantities of pharmaceuticals in wastewater runoff could have adverse and unforeseen effects on wildlife and public health unless something is done to curb drug pollution.
A new law in California based on Canada’s successful drug take-back programs will soon make pharmaceutical companies responsible for the proper disposal of their product. By urging citizens to return their leftover or expired medicines rather than letting them sit in a cabinet or flushing them down the toilet, drug manufacturers can make a difference on the environmental harm caused by these potent chemicals.
It’s time pharmaceutical companies took responsibility for the potential harms of their product. Urge Congress to implement a nationwide drug take-back program to keep human medicine out of America’s natural ecosystems.
Dear members of Congress,
Thousands upon thousands of Americans rely on prescription medication to stay healthy and active. Unfortunately, not all those who take pills regularly are able to dispose of their leftover medication in a safe manner. And when people flush pills down the toilet or throw them away in the trash, the chemicals in their medicines can go from being helpful to devastating.
Traces of antibiotics, hormones, and other drugs have been found across America’s waterways. The antidepressant Prozac has even been found in the brains of fish. U.S. citizens are disposing of their medications improperly at an alarming rate, leading to dangerous pollution with unpredictable effects on the environment.
Drug take-back programs have already been proven successful in parts of Canada, where pharmaceutical companies fund efforts to ensure consumers are able to dispose of their medications safely. A similar program will soon take effect in California. But one state is not enough; it’s time the whole country took responsibility for the disposal of pharmaceutical drugs. I urge you to implement a national drug take-back program to keep medicine out of America’s environment.
[Your Name Here]