ISTC hosts Events on Environmental Effects of Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products

As P2 Week kicks off this week, we are reminded of the important legislation of the past that has helped achieve cleaner waters in the U.S.; however, there is still work to be done. The Clean Water Act was passed in 1972 in response to the growing awareness that raw sewage, industrial wastes, and other pollutants were regularly being dumped into waterways. The goal of the Clean Water Act was to “restore and maintain the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of our nation’s waters.” The law called for “zero discharge of pollutants into navigable waters” and water quality was to be improved so waters were both fishable and swimmable again. Progress has been made, but even after more than 40 years, water pollution is still a problem in many areas of the U.S. with excess nutrient runoff, mine drainage, oil or chemical spills, overflow of sewage during high rain events, etc.


In the past 10 years, the widespread occurrence of emerging contaminants, including pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) and steroid hormones, in waterways has been recognized as a critical environmental issue. To learn more about new research in that area and to provide opportunities for collaborations, ISTC is arranging a meeting on Thurs., Sept. 24 from 11 a.m.- noon for U of I faculty and staff from campus units studying PPCPs to discuss their projects. At noon, Dr. Wei Zheng from ISTC will present a talk on his PPCP research work. The talk will be broadcast live and also archived on the ISTC website. To register for the Sept. 24th webinar, visit


In addition, on April 4, 2016, ISTC is organizing a conference, along with IL-IN Sea Grant and funded by the U of I Extension, titled ”PPCPs in the Environment”. The event will be held at the I-Hotel Conference Center in Champaign. The call for abstracts will be announced in December. More information on the conference will be available on the ISTC website at that time.