[Pharmwaste] RE: Streams Stressed by Pharmaceutical Pollution
GILLIAM at adeq.state.ar.us
Mon Apr 15 12:48:17 EDT 2013
I may be more beneficial to have a list of PPCPs that DON'T have a toxic effect on mother nature's aquatic life. I'm sure it would be a short one.
Just not sure the CWA (its implementers) will catch up with all these toxics until we have pretty sterile lakes, streams, rivers and oceans. The earth's culture will not change in time for our grandchillin's grandchillin.
Grampa Eli didn't see this coming with his grandchildren just wanting to keep their stakeholders' pocket books fat.
And how many gyres have been identified as floating islands (the size of TX?) of plastic in the world's various oceans?
This environmental catastrophe will beat global warming (if you believe that theory) by a hundreds of years.
Maybe a version the H7N9 virus will get us all first...
ADEQ State Pretreatment Coordinator
From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us [mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of DeBiasi, Deborah (DEQ)
Sent: Monday, April 15, 2013 11:05 AM
To: 'pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us'
Subject: [Pharmwaste] Streams Stressed by Pharmaceutical Pollution
Streams Stressed by Pharmaceutical Pollution
April 1, 2013
Streams Stressed by Pharmaceutical Pollution
Apr. 1, 2013 - Pharmaceuticals commonly found in the environment are disrupting
streams, with unknown impacts on aquatic life and water quality. So reports a new
Ecological Applications paper, which highlights the ecological cost of
pharmaceutical waste and the need for more research into environmental impacts.
Lead author Dr. Emma Rosi-Marshall, a scientist at the Cary Institute of
Ecosystem Studies, comments: "Pharmaceutical pollution is now detected in waters
throughout the world. Causes include aging infrastructure, sewage overflows, and
agricultural runoff. Even when waste water makes it to sewage treatment
facilities, they aren't equipped to remove pharmaceuticals. As a result, our
streams and rivers are exposed to a cocktail of synthetic compounds, from
stimulants and antibiotics to analgesics and antihistamines."
With colleagues from Indiana University and Loyola University Chicago,
Rosi-Marshall looked at how six common pharmaceuticals influenced similar-sized
streams in New York, Maryland, and Indiana. Caffeine, the antibiotic
ciprofloxacin, the antidiabetic metformin, two antihistimines used to treat
heartburn (cimetidine and ranitidine), and one antihistamine used to treat
allergies (diphenhydramine) were investigated, both alone and in combinations,
using pharmaceutical-diffusing substrates.
Rosi-Marshall explains, "We focused on the response of biofilms -- which most
people know as the slippery coating on stream rocks -- because they're vital to
stream health. They might not look like much to the naked eye, but biofilms are
complex communities composed of algae, fungi, and bacteria all living and working
together. In streams, biofilms contribute to water quality by recycling nutrients
and organic matter. They're also a major food source for invertebrates that, in
turn, feed larger animals like fish."
Healthy streams are slippery streams. And it turns out that antihistamines dry
more than our noses. The most striking result of the study was diphenhydramine's
effects on algal production and microbial respiration. Exposure caused biofilms
to experience up to a 99% decrease in photosynthesis, as well as significant
drops in respiration. Diphenhydramine also caused a change in the bacterial
species present in the biofilms, including an increase in a bacterial group known
to degrade toxic compounds and a reduction in a group that digests compounds
produced by plants and algae.
Results suggest that this antihistamine is disrupting the ecology of these
sensitive biofilm communities. Rosi-Marshall notes, "We know that diphenhydramine
is commonly found in the environment. And its effect on biofilms could have
repercussions for animals in stream food webs, like insects and fish. We need
additional studies looking at the concentrations that cause ecosystem disruption,
and how they react with other stressors, such as excess nutrients."
The other pharmaceuticals investigated also had a measurable effect on biofilm
respiration, both alone and in combinations. More work is needed to understand
how drug mixtures, which most natural streams experience, impact freshwater
Society's dependence on pharmaceuticals is not likely to wane. Nor is its need
for clean, fresh water. This study adds another piece of evidence to the case
calling for innovations in the way we manage waste water. Currently, only a
fraction of the world's waste water is treated, and the infrastructure in many
developed nations is aging.
(Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (2013, April 1). Streams stressed by
pharmaceutical pollution. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 1, 2013, from
Copyright 2013, Science Daily
Deborah L. DeBiasi
Email: Deborah.DeBiasi at deq.virginia.gov<mailto:Deborah.DeBiasi at deq.virginia.gov>
WEB site address: www.deq.virginia.gov<http://www.deq.virginia.gov/>
Virginia Department of Environmental Quality
Office of Water Permit and Compliance Assistance Programs
Industrial Pretreatment/Whole Effluent Toxicity (WET) Program
PPCPs, EDCs, and Microconstituents
Mail: P.O. Box 1105, Richmond, VA 23218
Location: 629 E. Main Street, Richmond, VA 23219
PH: 804-698-4028 FAX: 804-698-4032
Next DEA Drug Take Back event is April 27th, 2013 10- 2
See www.dea.gov for locations
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