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Introduction to Emerging Contaminants

Introduction to Emerging Contaminants

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Introduction to Emerging Contaminants

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  1. Introduction to Emerging Contaminants What are Emerging Contaminants?

  2. What are Emerging Contaminants? Emerging does NOT mean that these chemicals are NEW. These chemicals have been released into the environments as long as they have been in use!

  3. What are Emerging Contaminants?

  4. What are Emerging Contaminants? McCall’s Magazine January 1946

  5. What are Emerging Contaminants? Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) Detergents and Surfactants Nanomaterials Polybrominated Flame Retardants (PBDEs) Drugs - Consumer Products – Chemicals Fragrances Disinfectants Pesticides and Repellants Plastics Antioxidants Fumigants

  6. What are Emerging Contaminants? • Encompasses many classes of chemicals! • Even the term raises technical questions! • Not currently regulated! • Unknown or incomplete knowledge of environmental fate and toxicity!

  7. Introduction to Emerging Contaminants Why should our industry care?

  8. Why should our industry care? 200% Greater Scientific Interest

  9. Why should our industry care? Drugs are in the Water. Does it Matter? New York Times, 2007 Unused Medicine a “painful” waste, possible hazard.Denver Post, 2005 Discarded drugs take a bad trip in the environment Chigago Tribune, 2006 Greater Public Interest Mystery toxins turn male bass into mothers….. Lexington Hearld-Leader, 2004 Hormonal chemicals may be imperiling fish The Seattle Times, 2007

  10. Why should our industry care? Endocrine Disruption! Gender Abnormalities! Acute Wildlife Effects! Antibiotic Resistance! Scientific Certainty - Uncertainty U-Shaped Dose Response Curves! Chronic Wildlife Effects! Skewed Sex Ratios! Intersex Fish!

  11. Introduction to Emerging Contaminants What we know or don’t know!

  12. What we know or don’t know! • Certain emerging contaminants have been shown to interact with the endocrine system. • There is scientific evidence to suggest that aquatic organisms have been effected. • There is great scientific debate whether humans are effected at the environmental concentrations present today.

  13. What we know or don’t know! • USGS has detected many of these chemicals in water bodies throughout the United States. • Many of these chemicals are routinely used by the average household. • The widespread use of these chemicals allows for many points on entry to the environment.

  14. What we know or don’t know! • Wastewater treatment does not completely remove these chemicals from waste streams. Is A New Paradigm In Order?