Pharmaceuticals are being discovered in our nation's waters at very low concentrations. While the sources of these pharmaceuticals may be numerous, EPA has been studying unused pharmaceutical disposal practices at health care facilities. The 2009 study was prompted by the concern that potentially large amounts of pharmaceuticals are being flushed or disposed of down the drain, ultimately ending up in rivers, streams and coastal waters. In preparing the study, EPA visited many facilities and consulted with organizations in the health care industry, as well as federal, state and local government agencies.You may need a PDF reader to view some of the files on this page. See EPA’s About PDF page to learn more.
Health Care Industry: Unused Pharmaceuticals Detailed Study (PDF)(12 pp, 130 K,
Study of disposal of unused pharmaceuticals at hospitals and long-term care facilities. Included in the public docket for the Preliminary 2010 Effluent Guidelines Program Plan
- Unused Pharmaceuticals in the Health Care Industry: Interim Report (PDF)(10 pp, 396 K, August 2008, 821-R-08-010)