AN AP INVESTIGATION : Pharmaceuticals Found in Drinking Water

States lead way in safely handling drug waste from health facilities

Some states are taking steps to make the medical industry discard pharmaceutical waste more safely. Among them:

_Minnesota encourages incineration of an expanded list of drugs.

_Washington state lists almost all pharmaceuticals as dangerous waste to give its regulators more power to force safer disposal.

_North Carolina makes nursing home pharmacies take back unused controlled drugs and sends inspectors to verify their destruction in incinerators.

_Louisiana lets nursing homes donate millions of dollars worth of unused drugs each year to charity.