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Effluent Guidelines

Unused Pharmaceutical Disposal at Health Care Facilities

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.

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