According to a recent Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, EP A should form a federal task force to coordinate research on the potential health effects of discarded pharmaceuticals in drinking water.
Prepared at the request of Representatives Brad Miller (D-N.C.) and Edward Markey (D-Mass.), the report is based on interviews with EP A officials, an analysis of peer-reviewed reports and a draft report of a disbanded federal task force that examined the ecological and health impacts of pharmaceuticals in the environment. It summarizes U.S. Geological Survey, EP A and other studies that have detected pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics and endocrine-disrupting chemicals in source water, treated drinking water and treated wastewater.
The report claims that EP A has had difficulty compiling relevant data, especially concerning long-term impacts on vulnerable populations such as children. It recommends that EP A establish a formal work group to coordinate research among agencies. In May, GAO issued a report recommending that EP A develop processes for identifying the riskiest chemicals—pharmaceutical and otherwise—that may require regulation.