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Feds Not Sure How to Limit Drugs in Water, GAO Says

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Photo: Gudellaphoto

Federal regulators charged with limiting prescription drugs in drinking water still are not sure which drugs pose risks to human health, according to a government audit released Thursday.

In its 57-page report, the Government Accountability Office said there was a lack of coordination among federal agencies to identify drugs appearing in tap water and posing risks to human health.

The Environmental Protection Agency is collaborating with the Food and Drug Administration and U.S. Geological Survey on research to help obtain such data, the report said.

However, EPA officials told GAO there is no formal mechanism for the research, including a long-term strategy or formal agreement to manage and sustain the collaboration.

The AP conducted an investigation three years ago, revealing traces of pharmaceuticals were passing through treatment plants and into drinking water supplies nationwide.

Click here to read the full GAO report.

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