A common question on pharmaceticals and personal care products (PPCPs) is which of the thousands of chemicals called PPCPs should be looked at first. This second session of the four part PPCPs webinar will present research done in EPA's Office of Research and Development that looked at pieces of this complex issue.
Mitch Kostich will cover an innovative approach being evaluated for prioritizing pharmaceuticals for more research on their toxicological properties and potential adverse environmental effects. In this informatics method, ecological impacts are estimated using information from regulatory filings and the scientific literature. Additional data on the use, biotransformation, and chemicals properties are used to further refine the estimate and produce a score that can assist in prioritizing research.
Susan Glassmeyer discusses work done to identify the chemical compounds in wastewater treatment plant discharges. Many chemicals were found, including pharmaceuticals, surfactants, and fecal sterols. Although one of the focuses of the research was whether these chemicals could be used as tracers of human fecal pollution, as many as 17 pharmaceuticals were identified in the samples and 9 of these were found in at least 50% of the samples. Additionally, study results on the 35 most frequently detected compounds in the wastewater effluent and their downstream persistence, as well information on whether disinfection processes could remove some of the PPCPs will be discussed.