Did you know that 85% of Nebraskans rely on groundwater for their drinking water? Groundwater is also an important source for irrigation (the water used to grow our food). It's not only important that we conserve groundwater, it is also important that we protect it from contamination. Groundwater contamination occurs when substances in the groundwater make it unfit for an intended purpose and can cause harm to people, animals and the environment. Contaminants can be naturally-occurring or manmade- like gasoline, oil, road salts, or other chemicals. Frannie wants to talk about another group of manmade contaminants today- pharmaceuticals and personal care products, including:
- Cleaning and laundry products
- Make-up products
- Sunscreen and other moisturizers
- Vitamins and dietary supplements
- Medicines (prescription, over-the-counter, veterinary, etc.)
These products help keep us healthy and clean, but if they are disposed of improperly, they can end up in surface and groundwater. Improperly disposing of medications includes: flushing down toilets and drains or tossing in the trash.
Instead, be a leader and talk with your parent/guardian about making sure these products are properly disposed of with the Nebraska MEDS drug take-back program! Remember: never handle these products. Let your parent/guardian handle all medicines and personal care products.
The Nebraska MEDS Coalition is a group of state and community partners that educate Nebraskans about proper drug disposal and provide safe, convenient disposal opportunities! There are over 290 pharmacies across Nebraska that participate in the Nebraska MEDS drug take-back program and will take back leftover, unused, or expired medications all year round. Since 2012 when the program began, 33,176 pounds of medications have been collected and safely disposed of! Help be part of the solution and find a pharmacy near you!
It is important that we all play a part in protecting this precious resource! Talk with your parent/guardian about protecting groundwater by taking back unused or expired medications today. Show them this fun infographic with more information.