Small amounts of a wide range of prescription and over-the-counter drugs have been found in drinking water used daily by 41 million Americans in 24 major cities. A major AP investigation found pain killers, anti-seizure drugs, angina and cholesterol medications, mood-altering drugs, and other pharmaceuticals in tap water, the water table and aquifers.
No one is certain what the long-term impact of exposure will be on humans, wildlife, or the environment. "Pharmaceuticals are being detected," said the environmental technology director for drug maker Merck. "There is genuine concern that these compounds, in small concentrations, could be causing impacts to human health or to aquatic organisms." (Read more drinking water stories.)