Although understanding of the the issues of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment is in the early stages of information gathering and data development, even with very limited data there are indications of the potential for some PPCPs to have environmental effects. In light of this, many public and private groups throughout the country are developing actions that can be taken right now to reduce the amount of PPCPs entering the environment.
Chen Wen of the Office of Prevention, Pesticides and Toxics will discuss EPA's stewardship program that helps hospitals reduce pharmaceutical waste. This program is a pilot being conducted in all 10 EPA Regions and provides information and other types of support for these efforts. The program has also developed guidance to assist hospitals in reducing pharmaceutical wastestreams.
Karin North of the City of Palo Alto (California) will provide highlights and lessons learned from the May 2006 San Francisco Bay Region pharmaceutical take-back event for residential pharmaceutical waste. This regional event was planned and managed by the Bay Area Pollution Prevention Group (BAPPG) and 17 local Bay Area agencies in cooperation with a retail pharmacy. This event collected over 3600 pounds of pharmaceutical waste at 39 locations.