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ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
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Vigorous Treadmill Workout Curbs Appetite Hormones
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GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Gum Chewing May Speed Colon Surgery Recovery
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
Intestinal Bacteria Trigger Immune Response
GENERAL HEALTH
Spread of Swine Flu in Japan Could Raise WHO Alert to Highest Level
Kids With Vitamin D Deficiency Linked to Heart Trouble
When Clocks Change, Body May Need Time to Adjust
HEAD & NECK
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Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
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HEARING
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HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
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INFECTIOUS DISEASE
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KID'S HEALTH
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MEN'S HEALTH
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Heal Your LifeŽ Tips for Living Well
PAIN
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PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
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Acupuncture May Ease Depression During Pregnancy
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
SENIORS
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Fitness Fades Fast After 45
Many Cancer Survivors Don't Adopt Healthy Lifestyle
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
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Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
Daylight Savings: Not a Bright Time for All
WOMEN'S HEALTH
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Natural Oils Help Lower Body Fat For Some
Broccoli May Help Battle Breast Cancer
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Topical Drugs May Pollute Waterways

Showers and baths are potential sources of hormones, antibiotics and other medicines that pollute water, a new study shows.

Toilets are a known source of environmental pollution from active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), which are excreted in urine and feces. In addition, many people flush unused drugs down the toilet. APIs can make it through the disinfection process at sewage treatment plants and enter rivers, lakes and oceans. Some APIs end up in drinking water.

This study is the first to link bathing, showering and laundering with API water pollution.

"These routes may be important for certain APIs found in medications that are applied topically, which means to the skin. They include creams, lotions, ointments, gels and skin patches," study co-author Dr. Ilene Ruhoy, director of the Institute for Environmental Medicine at Touro University in Henderson, Nev., said in a news release.

Because they are intact when they enter the environment, topical APIs can have a greater impact than APIs released in feces and urine, which have been broken down by the liver and kidneys.

For this study, the researchers reviewed hundreds of studies on the metabolism and use of medications. The findings were to be presented Thursday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting in San Francisco.

"We need to be more aware of how our use of pharmaceuticals can have unwanted environmental effects," Ruhoy said. "Identifying the major pathways in which APIs enter the environment is an important step toward the goal of minimizing their environmental impact."

SOURCES: American Chemical Society, news release, March 24, 2010 Published on: March 25, 2010