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Mystery River

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joseph doman

on 21 November 2013

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Transcript of Mystery River

In a city called Capitol City, there is a river that flows through, called the Shawnee River. By the river, there is a school called Hopewell Elementary School. Every year, the elementary school has a traditional event with a neighboring school, which is the Adena Elementary School. The fourth graders of Hopewell Elementary School look forward to making jewelry out of mussel shells scattered by muskrats and occasional otters on the banks of the Shawnee River. The problem started when the fourth graders went to gather mussel shells. But, they only found three. So, this year, the students at Hopewell Elementary School had to make their jewelery out of paper and plastic. The teachers thought that something was going wrong. Mrs. Whitehead (fourth-grade art teacher) recalled that she had seen less and less of the clam shells, but she didn't really think about it until now. However, zebra mussels are not a concern in this river system. Hopewell Elementary School is a small school with only two classes in grades kindergarten through six, and the average number of students in each classroom is 25 students. In the past, the fourth-grade students generally put three to five shells on each necklace they made.
Mystery River
By: Kaeley, Joseph, and Wooyoung
Our theory is that BioTech, a newer company in Capitol City, is causing the mussels to disappear from the Shawnee River. In Handout 8, there is an article named "BioTech Leads Nation in Free Drugs." The drugs and medicine BioTech manufactures are taken by millions of people every day.
There is a place called the Butler Nursing Home that is northwest of the Shawnee River. Dr.Deborah Whitehead, director of patient care at Butler Nursing Home, said the donations from BioTech have been wonderful, but sometimes they are even more than the nursing home can use. Therefore, once a month, most nursing homes and retirement centers have a check-and-flush day to dispose of old drugs. We think that the people at the nursing homes are flushing out the expired medicines into their discharge water. This water is emptied into the Shawnee River.
Our solution for this problem
is a drug-take-back-day. On this day,
the police will take the over dated drugs
and use incineration to reduce the drugs
to ashes. This is a safe way to dispose of
these drugs, rather than dumping them into the sewer, which goes to the Shawnee River system.

From The New York Times Article: Drugs Are in the Water. Does it Matter?

"In many cases, the compounds enter the water when people excrete them or wash them away in the shower. But some are flushed or washed down the drain when people discard outdated or unused drugs. So a number of states and localities around the country have started discouraging pharmacies, hospitals, nursing homes and residents from disposing of drugs this way. Some are setting up “pharmaceutical take-back locations” in drugstores or even police stations. Others are adding pharmaceuticals to the list of hazardous household waste, like leftover paint or insecticides, periodically collected for safe disposal, often by incineration.
For example, Clark Country, Wash., has a program in which residents with unwanted or expired drugs can take so-called controlled substances, like prescription narcotics, to police stations or sheriffs' offices for disposal. They can drop noncontrolled drugs at participating pharmacies, and 80 percent of the pharmacies in the country participate.
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