Sea salt containing drug compounds not absorbed by the human body is harvested from the San Francisco Bay in an unusual art project.
As we previously reported, in France and Italy, an overuse of medication has caused the natural breakdown of human bodies to slow, creating urban planning issues with overpopulated grave sites. Recognizing that such issues surrounding pharmaceuticals are as applicable to ecology of the environment as much as individuals, Jon Cohrs and Morgan Levy have created an “All-Salt” that critiques this problem:
Inhabitants of San Jose have long harvested sea salt from the San Francisco Bay’s ocean waters. Today, Bay waters are fed by more than ocean tides and freshwater streams. Sewage piped from urban Bay Area communities to water pollution control plants along the Bay’s edges drains into the bay. Wastewater treatment plants filter out most toxic contaminants, but not the pharmaceuticals that many of us flush down our toilets – anything from antibiotics to antidepressants that are not completely absorbed by our bodies. Valuable drug compounds make it through treatment intact and collect in Bay saltwater, where they are available to be re-harvested and re-used.
The project’s installation was on view as part of the Zero1 Biennial in San Jose, California.