Thursday, March 17, 2016

Cancer Treatments: What are the Side Effects for the Environment?

By Cindy Kreifels, The Groundwater Foundation

I was deeply touched when I received an email from a woman going through cancer treatment who expressed her concern about the impact of the chemotherapy drugs on groundwater and the environment.  The writer pointed out, the excretion from a person’s body after a chemotherapy treatment must result in toxic bodily waste.  Since these drugs are disposed of in hazmat bins, doesn’t it stand to reason that the human waste from a chemo patient must be a toxic solution that upon flushing is being added to our water stream?

If so, what does that mean for the aquatic plants and animals?  And, what does it mean for us as humans?  Septic systems and wastewater treatment systems are not designed to remove these types of chemicals from the water. 

So what can be done?  What should be done?  The writer of the letter provided this suggestion:
·       Cancer treatment centers could provide biowaste toilets and overnight beds for patients for at least 48 hours after chemo treatment

What other options are out there?  What are the next steps?

Please share your thoughts and join me in wishing this woman all the best in her quest to overcome cancer and protect our water!

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