Yikes! A new study from researchers at Columbia University, reported on by the Times Union, has some scary results about what’s present in the waters of the Hudson River.  According to the Times Union, researchers found varying levels of sixteen different pharmaceuticals.  What medications? Well, what they found apparently included antibiotics, drugs for treating high blood pressure, high cholesterol, epilepsy, ulcers and heartburn, and the acetaminophen (Tylenol).  They also found elevated levels of caffeine.  According to the Times Union report, the levels of some were high enough to have concern for fish and other organisms in the waters of the Hudson River.  While it’s noted that there’s no direct risk to humans from this, I have to admit I’m a little bit creeped out.

Sure, I fantasize about being able to just swim in a river of caffeine (or maybe hang out in a jacuzzi) and be revived and not have to drink copious amounts of coffee daily.   That being said, swimming in the caffeine-laden waters of the Hudson is not a fantasy of mine.  I’m a nurse, and I know all of the names and medications listed that were found in the waters of the Hudson.  I know how anti-seizure medications like carbamazepine can effect humans.  Would I give it to someone who doesn’t need it, or it’s not prescribed for? Never.  So the idea of swimming in water with levels of this medication (and accidentally ingesting some of the water) gives me the heebee-jeebees (for lack of a better word).  I’m interested to read more about this, but in the meantime, you can get more details at the Times Union.   The Hudson River is wonderful part of New York, for everything from rowing to striper fishing, so hopefully all of this research helps or is put to a good use.

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