Concerns arise over pharmaceuticals in Great Lakes

Capital News Service
LANSING — The emerging threat of pharmaceuticals, everyday chemicals and personal care products in drinking water may be the most difficult that water treatment plants have faced, experts say. Lake Michigan takes 99 years to “turn over,” meaning chemicals that entered the lake a century ago may only just be exiting, according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes, which has offices in Grand Haven and Plymouth. Its new report says that surface water in Lake Michigan contains six of 20 “priority” chemicals, or emerging contaminants identified by environmental engineers from Michigan State University. They include flame retardants and a cholesterol-lowering drug. After treatment, only a fire retardant remained in ready-to-drink water.