How to Get Prescription Drugs Out of Your Tap Water

One of the consequences of being “one nation under drugs” is that we’re exposed to toxic, prescription drug metabolites via our tap water.

Drug giant Merck recently warned: “There’s no doubt about it, pharmaceuticals are being detected in the environment and there is genuine concern that these compounds, in the small concentrations that they’re at, could be causing impacts to human health and aquatic organisms.” To wit, officials in Philadelphia have identified 56 pharmaceuticals or byproducts in tap water. These included pain meds, cholesterol-lowering drugs, birth control pills, antidepressants, and blood pressure meds. None of them belong in little Johnny’s “sippy cup.”

Don’t expect your city to be any different. The federal government doesn’t require any testing or safety limits for drugs in tap water. But you can protect yourself with the right water filter.

The market is flooded with water filters – microfiltration, ultrafiltration, nanofiltration, reverse osmosis, electrodialysis reversal, membrane bioreactors, and combinations of membranes in series. At the recent conference on Wastewater Reclamation and Reuse for Sustainability, reverse osmosis filters proved most effective at removing all pollutants, including pharmaceuticals. Looking for the most user-friendly and economic filter, I found the RioFlow Complete 5-Stage Reverse Osmosis System. For about $180, you can rest assured that you are doing everything you can to keep your body free and clear of “other people’s drugs.”

[Ed. Note: Shane Ellison ( is an author and organic chemist. He is a two-time recipient of the prestigious Howard Hughes Medical Institute Research Grant for his research in biochemistry and physiology. An internationally recognized authority on therapeutic nutrition, he is the founder of The AM-PM Fat Loss Discovery package.]