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How effectively people's bodies break down medicines can vary widely by individual and by drug. "As a result, in some cases, 50 to 90 percent of an administered drug may be excreted from the body in its original or its biologically active form. In other cases, partially degraded drugs are converted back into their active form through chemical reactions with the environment."

Source: Drugged Waters -- Does it Matter That Pharmaceuticals are Turning Up in Water Supplies? Janet Raloff, Science News, Vol. 153, March 21, 1998.


By Sea Grant Staff
August 2001

Return to August 2001 Seiche



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