Green Buckeye RN

Pharmwaste Digest: Illinois Prohibits Health Facilities From Flushing Meds
August 21, 2009, 9:09 am
Filed under: News

Aug 17, 2009

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn on Aug. 10 signed several key environmental bills, including one that will prohibit health care institutions from flushing unused medications into public wastewater. Other legislation will track water usage by high capacity wells throughout the state.

“This action is another important step in protecting our state’s precious natural resources,” said Quinn. “Keeping our water safe from unused medications and tracking water usage will help us preserve our waterways for future generations.”

Senate Bill 1919 creates the Pharmaceutical Disposal Act and was sponsored by Sen. Susan Garrett (D-Lake Forest) and Rep. Karen May (D-Highwood). The new law provides that health care institutions may not discharge, dispose, flush, pour or empty any unused medication into a public wastewater collection system or septic system. Violators are subject to a fine.

“For years, disposing unused or expired medicines in wastewater was common, even recommended practice. Today, we’re making clear how serious we are at stopping this practice before Illinois faces an environmental or community health crisis,” said Sen. Garrett.

The bill can be found here:


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