EPA sets up collection sites in eight states for used meds

4/16/2008

BUFFALO, N.Y. The Environmental Protection Agency, recognizing that trace amounts of pharmaceuticals are showing up in drinking water, has begun urging consumers living near any of the Great Lakes to bring their old medications to official collection centers.

The EPA is helping pay for more than 70 collection points in eight states that will take old medicine—along with electronic waste like computers, cell phones and televisions—from April 19 through April 27. The agency has set a goal of collecting 1 million pills during an Earth Day initiative aimed at the more than 30 million people who live around the Great Lakes, which are by far the largest source of fresh drinking water on the planet.

The collection sites are being established in New York, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

"We're trying to raise public awareness on disposing of pharmaceuticals properly and we've had a very good response from communities on water districts. This is information that needs to get out there," EPA spokeswoman Phillippa Cannon said Tuesday.

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