Treat your most common ails with recycled medical waste

Are you feeling depressed? Sick of paying exorbitant rates for birth control?

Are you feeling depressed? Sick of paying exorbitant rates for birth control?

Here’s a lovely little piece of Snake Oil I found. Harvested sea salt that is supposed to contain recycled pharmaceuticals from water treatment plants.

Are you feeling depressed? Sick of paying exorbitant rates for birth control? Try Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt, harvested locally in San Jose.

Traditionally, medical conditions are treated through expensive appointments and prescription drugs. Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt is a unique low-dosage cocktail of our most commonly used drugs, all brought together in one simple salty remedy, naturally.

Our process harvests two popular commodities, sea salt and recycled pharmaceuticals from water treatment plants, to produce one fine medicinal product: Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt. A salt for every condition, hand harvested and sun dried for purity.

They even have an instructable for making your own!

All-Salt contains a special blend of the most commonly used pharmaceuticals (see Ingredients) – trace concentrations that accumulate in the body over time to heal a variety of ailments. We harvest our medicinal salt from the brackish waters of the Artesian Slough, which channels treated wastewater (known to contain a variety of pharmaceutical compounds) from the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant to the South San Francisco Bay.

So what they do is they collect salty water, evaporate off the water off and sell the salt to you. The ingredient list contains everything from fluoxitine (an antidepressant) to gemfibrozil (cholesterol medication). With possible bonuses like “antibacterial and antifungal compounds from household and personal care products, pesticides and insecticides, PBDEs (flame retardants), and PCBs (electrical coolants).”

Unfortunately they can’t guarantee what drugs are their product. Mainly because they haven’t bothered to test the salt.

While no formal safety tests have yet been conducted, we stand behind our organic medicinal salt and use it regularly ourselves.

It also needs to be noted that their organic sea salt is nowhere near organic.

Our own harvesting and production process is completely organic. However, the pharmaceutical and other compounds harvested along with our sea salt may not qualify as organic, especially with regard to the pesticides and herbicides that have been shown to survive wastewater treatment processes alongside pharmaceuticals.

Their salt is harvested from water collected where the San Jose/Santa Clara Water Pollution Control Plant runoff mixes with salt marshes.

There have been many reports, most of them shocking and and a little worrying about pharmaceuticals in in U.S. waterways and streams. But along with drugs there was also “coprostanol (fecal steroid), cholesterol (plant and animal steroid), N-N-diethyltoluamide (insect repellent), caffeine (stimulant), triclosan (antimicrobial disinfectant), tri (2-chloroethyl) phosphate (fire retardant), and 4-nonylphenol (nonionic detergent metabolite). Steroids, nonprescription drugs, and insect repellent were the chemical groups most frequently detected. Detergent metabolites, steroids, and plasticizers generally were measured at the highest concentrations.”

I don’t need to tell you how dangerous ingesting these chemicals are. Granted, the amounts concentrated in the salt would be minuscule, if there are any there in the first place. The USGS doesn’t even know what the effects are:

Knowledge of the potential human and environmental health effects of these 95 [detected] chemicals is highly varied; drinking-water standards or other human or ecological health criteria have been established for 14. Measured concentrations rarely exceeded any of the standards or criteria. Thirty-three are known or suspected to be hormonally active; 46 are pharmaceutically active. Little is known about the potential health effects to humans or aquatic organisms exposed to the low levels of most of these chemicals or the mixtures commonly found in this study.

The Water Pollution Control Plant has a report on the microconstituents left in their waste water (PDF) after treatment. Of the 95 constituents they measured for, 53 were found in the plant’s efluent. Of those 53, 43 had been removed at a rate greater that 75%. The other ten were below  that, (Carbamazepine was the lowest with only 16% removed).

The idea that you can not only distill these pharmaceuticals from the water and take them safely confounds me. Not only do they now know what they are ingesting, they admittedly know that they are also ingesting dangerous chemicals, several of which are known to be carcinogens. I feel I need (and I’m literally surprised that someone has to) to remind everyone of an old adage. “Friend don’t let friends consume wastewater treatment plant efluent.”

2 Responses to “Treat your most common ails with recycled medical waste”

  1. [...] There have a been several nice articles written on Alviso’s Medicinal All-Salt: > PFSK > TreeHugger > BoingBoing > Grist > Good Magazine > Make > Miskeptics [...]

  2. [...] Medicinal All-Salt: > PFSK > TreeHugger > BoingBoing > Grist > Good Magazine > Make > Miskeptics and featured on Instructables with a lively [...]