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City should test water for drugs: Gennaro

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In reports published last month, the state Health Department and United States Geological Survey found trace amounts of 15 different pharmaceuticals - including hormones, mood stabilizers, pain killers and caffeine - in upstate water sources. The DEP does not currently test city tap water for pharmaceuticals and said at a City Hall hearing last Thursday that it would wait for recommendations from the federal and state governments before deciding whether to start doing so."I'm very concerned about the possible effects of even traces of pharmaceuticals in our drinking water," Gennaro said.Gennaro called the hearing after a March 10 Associated Press report noted that out of 62 major water providers nationwide, pharmaceuticals were detected in 24 of the systems. Officials at 34 water providers, including the city's, said tests to determine the presence and concentrations of pharmaceuticals have not been conducted, the AP said.While DEP, the city agency that oversees the water and sewer systems, attended the City Hall hearing, invited officials from the state Environmental Conservation Department and federal Environmental Protection Agency were absent, Gennaro's office said.Even though New York City's tap water meets all federal and state regulations for quality, both at source watersheds and the tap, Gennaro wants the city to address the findings.Reach reporter Alex Christodoulides by e-mail at achristodoulides@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 155.

Updated 6:58 pm, October 10, 2011
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