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Living near a drug production plant may be hazardous to your health

We’ve heard all about traces of drugs that turn up in our drinking water.

But that may seem insignificant if you happen to live near a drug production plant that’s located on a waterway.

According to Pharmalot, Merck violated the Clean Water Act with three chemical discharges into Pennsylvania waters. One of these was so extreme that the city of Philadelphia had to shut down drinking water temporarily.

Nice.

For that little misstep, Merck paid a fine of more than $20 million in 2007.

So… Lesson learned?

Not quite.

The same year that fine was paid, a Merck facility in Pennsylvania dumped ammonia and ethylene glycol into the water. And — oops! They neglected to inform the EPA. That violation, coupled with a similar 2004 abuse, recently cost the company another $1.5 million in civil fines.

What we have here, apparently, is a repeat offender. So if you had to bet, would you bet it won’t happen again?

Not me. I’d be buying stock in bottled water.

Sources:
“Merck Pays $1.5M Fine For Pollution Problems” Ed Silverman, Pharmalot, 9/28/11, pharmalot.com

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