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Determining Effects of Pharmaceuticals and Other Emerging Contaminants in Effluents

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Pharmaceuticals, personal care products, their precursors and degradation products (medicines, antibiotics, flavor enhancers, perfumes, etc.) can be found in essentially all effluent water samples that are examined closely (Kolpin et al., 2002). However, detection of the concentrations of these materials in water or effluent does not accurately address the potential impact or adverse effects of these materials. An increasing population size and use of medical and personal care products by an increasingly older population results in emerging and existing impacts that need to be carefully addressed in terms of the actual effects these products may have on people and the environment. Many studies document effects of emerging compounds that may represent the effects of estrogen disrupting compounds (EDCs), but some effects of EDCs may not be significant or adverse. Some effects may actually be potentially positive. It is important that the threshold of adverse effects of EDCs be better delineated so that water treatment facilities won't be held to inappropriate or overly conservative effluent clean up regulations. A new approach to the determination of effects of pharmaceuticals and other chemicals that act as EDCs is needed.

Keywords: Behavior; Coloration; EDCs; Laboratory Tests; Quinoline; Sex Change; Vitellogenin

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864707786542599

Publication date: July 29, 2007

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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