Contaminants found in New York's water

Test results from the U.S. Geological Survey and the New York State Department of Health show a number of pharmaceutical drugs have been found in New York's upstate water supply, according to an Associated Press investigation.

Some of the drugs include estrogen, ibuprofen, caffeine, acetaminophen and codeine. Studies indicate that the drugs are passed through human waste. Although the water is processed at wastewater treatment facilities, very tiny particles of the drugs remain in the water supply. The investigation states the drugs appear in amounts far below the levels of a medical dose, but scientists are still concerned about how they might affect people over time.

The report also indicates that wildlife might already be suffering effects from the drugs, particularly fish. The study speculates that the female hormone estrogen could be the reason male flounder are beginning to show feminine characteristics.

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