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February 2009

Dispose of Unwanted Medicines and Pharmaceuticals Properly

Pharmaceutical products and medications are used for the benefit of humanity. Their use is expected to increase in the coming years due to the fact that the population is growing and, in many countries, such as the United States, is aging. Several studies have demonstrated that certain pharmaceutical chemical compounds are being dispersed into the environment. It has also been established that the origin of such contamination is mainly due to consumers use and actions and not to manufacturing operations. Large amounts of pharmaceutical products are discarded as their expiration date passes or they become unwanted. At this time, the correct disposal method of waste product is not clear to the general public. Consequently, waste is discharged to sewage systems, through on-site septic systems or leaching fields or sent to landfills from household waste. Increasing concern is being expressed among toxicologists and water research experts regarding the impact of endocrine disruptors (chemicals that interfere with an organism’s master glands, such as the thyroid, adrenal, reproductive glands and their hormones) on human health and the environment.

It therefore makes prudent environmental sense to not deliberately introduce these potent chemicals into water systems. This has prompted a collaboration of concerned groups and individuals to establish a one-time unwanted medicine and pharmaceutical waste collection event to be held on Saturday, April 18, 2009, in Setauket, New York (see details below).

So, instead of flushing your unwanted medicines or throwing them out in the trash, return them for proper disposal during this collection event and do your part to keep your family healthy and Long Island waters clean!

Return Unwanted Medicines
Saturday, April 18, 2009
10 am – 3 pm
Setauket Firehouse
Nicolls Rd, Setauket, NY

Expired and unwanted prescriptions and over-the-counter medications will be collected. This includes controlled and non-controlled substances. Please bring all medicines in their original containers, if possible. For more information, please call Larissa Graham at 631-632-9216.

This event is a collaboration of Stony Brook University and Medical Center, New York Sea Grant, Suffolk County Legislator Lynne Nowick, Assemblyman Steve Englebright, Suffolk County Health Department, Long Island Sound Study, and Triumvirate Environmental Inc.

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