London, Jan 13 (UNI) Traces of cancer and psychiatric drugs were found in samples of Britain's tap water, a report said.
The 100-page statement, commissioned by the drinking water watchdog, the Drinking Water Inspectorate (DWI), revealed that pharmaceuticals are finding their way into the water despite extensive purification treatments used by water companies, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Trace levels of bleomycin, a cancer chemotherapy drug, and diazepam, a sedative, were found during tests on drinking water, the report said.
Though the levels are considered too low to pose a direct risk to health, doctors have voiced concern over exposing pregnant women to drugs that could harm an unborn child.
The report recommends that drinking water should be monitored for hazardous drugs.
It states, ''The observed concentrations of pharmaceuticals in raw waste water indicate that the major source of pharmaceuticals to the environment is via sewage treatment works effluent.
''Drinking water treatment works use a wider and technically more advanced range of processes, but again these are not specifically designed to remove pharmaceuticals and several compounds have been reported in drinking water.'' But it adds, ''Even in the worst-case situation, there is no significant risk to health from the intake of pharmaceuticals via drinking water.'' UNI XC SKB KN1432