A Perspective Regarding the Presence of Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment

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Pharmaceuticals and personal care products, commonly referred to as PPCPs, are a broad class of substances used by the general population for health, hygiene, or cosmetic reasons. Domestic sewage contains pharmaceuticals and their metabolites, as well as many other PPCPs. These substances reach and often pass through wastewater treatment plants, which were generally designed to treat human waste, not PPCPs. The Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District conducted a screening assessment to provide basic data to improve the understanding of PPCPs in their three wastewater treatment plants and the surrounding environmental waters in the Greater Cleveland area. While not a true risk assessment, the results presented herein can be used to put human exposures to PPCPs in the environment into a perspective that may help to alleviate some of the fear among the general public.

Keywords: PPCPs; communication; pharmaceuticals; risk

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864710798159110

Publication date: January 1, 2010

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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 These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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