ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) - Pharmacies in New York are now allowed to collect and dispose of unwanted medication so consumers won't pollute waterways by flushing drugs down the toilet.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently signed legislation that will facilitate drug collection and safe disposal. State regulators are encouraging all pharmacies to become authorized collectors of unused, expired and unwanted drugs under federal controlled substances disposal rules.
In the past, consumers were told to flush unwanted drugs. Now research has shown low levels of pharmaceuticals have been detected in lakes, streams and rivers because they pass through wastewater treatment plants unaltered.
Research is beginning to show correlations between exposure to low levels of medications and adverse impacts to fish and other aquatic wildlife.