As an intense nature observer and naturalist, Johann Grander pointed out in the early 90's that the remains of our medicines "land" in our drinking water. It may be perhaps that only a single drug is detected and measured in the water, however the sum of more and more expectant drugs can neither be measured, nor detected and filtered.
Since the first studies were published by the media, which demonstrated that the synthetic hormone pill, Estradiol, passes unhindered through natural elimination into the sewage treatment plants and further into rivers and lakes, anglers and fishermen are concerned that the anti-baby pill affects the natural reproduction of the fish.
How do drugs end up in our drinking water?
Not only birth control pills, but also large volumes and a wide range of drugs can be found in every household. 70 - 80% of an ingested drug is excreted naturally and passes through the toilet into the wastewater and sewage treatment plants back into lakes and rivers. Mixed with ground water it is reused as drinking water. Although sewage treatment plants comply with all the legal requirements and parameters - they cannot eliminate drugs completely and certainly not in the shere amounts and colourful mixture.
Therefore, geo-ecologists and scientists warn of a "drug cocktail" in our drinking water, the effect of which is difficult to predict.
On behalf of the Federal Environmental Agency, researchers have found 20 pharmaceutical substances in drinking water, including pain relievers, blood lipid lowering agents, x-ray contrast agents, anti-rheumatic agents, anti-epileptic drugs and antibiotics .
Looking back 12 years and more
It is shocking that today's drinking water values reflect the burdens of many years ago: until the residues from rivers make their way through the sediment into the groundwater and get through wells to the surface again, it can take up to 12 years; the effects are long-lasting.
Although drinking water (at least in Central Europe) is considered the best controlled food, the water is not systematically checked for drug residues. Since there is no corresponding limit values, the public statements about the impact and long-term consequences are vague.
However, the effects of drug residues are varied, particularly with regard to immune-compromised people such as pregnant women, infants, young children and elderly people. The ecosystem in the world has to suffer from these strains, and therefore the people, animals and plants too.
The circle closes
And here we come full circle back to Johann Grander, who also warned 40 years ago that the balance in nature has been disturbed. The consequences are devastating for people and the environment. The recent weather disasters are just one example; extreme heat waves and catastrophic floods as well. Yes, of course there have always been such disasters, but with such an increase in occurence and with being so violent in their nature? Temperatures over the long term, which averages being considered, are consistent and continuous, however the outliers develop into hazards.
Weather conditions, extinction of fish, the stranding of whales as well as the mass deaths of birds are proof of the imbalance of nature.
Johann Grander has always greatly appreciated and respected nature. He used to say, "We do not know what is going on in nature, otherwise we wouldn't interfere so severely with it and its natural processes."