PPCPs and the Environment

pills spilling out of a medicine bottleHave you ever wondered what happens to your medicine, face cream, or shampoo after you use them? The human body absorbs some of these pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), but not all. What goes unused after we use the toilet or take a shower ends up in the sewer. Leaky sewer systems and heavy rains can speed up the transport time of PPCPs from the bathroom to lakes and streams. The recent article “What to do about the antidepressants, antibiotics and other drugs in our water” and our recent blog post “Could meat production cause pharmaceutical and hormone pollution in lakes and streams?” both sum up the issues surrounding PPCPs in the environment. ISTC researchers are working on several projects to discover the fate and transport of PPCPs in the environment as well as to develop an effective wastewater treatment method that could remove PPCPs from both human and animal wastewater.


What can you do?


Do you have questions?

IISG and ISTC will be at the Illinois State Fair through August 21, 2015, to answer any questions about PPCPs and medicine disposal. We are located in the Fisheries Tent in Conservation World at the Illinois State Fair.  You can also contact Laura Kammin at the IISG with questions.