[Pharmwaste] FW: Chemicals in water altering genders of fish(*LakePepin, Peedee and Potomac Rive

Melody LaBella MLABELLA at centralsan.dst.ca.us
Thu Feb 4 11:06:19 EST 2010

Thank you all (Sue, Catherine, Rick, Laurie and Allen) for your
responses to Howard's original post about the 99% of pharms. being
excreted and the need to teach our sewer systems to render them benign.
Howard and Phil - with all due respect, you do not know our business
(wastewater), so please don't post these unfounded statistics and
recommendations for changing our treatment processes.  In addition to
the millions of pounds of pharmaceuticals (both prescription and
non-prescription) that come to us in dilute concentrations in wastewater
are the myriad of other biochemically-active compounds that our society
has allowed to be the norm in our every day lives.  Those include
pesticides, perfluourinated compounds (flame retardants and stain
resisters like Scotchguard), plasticizers (phthlates and Bispenol A) and
many thousands more.
I doubt that there is any treatment process that could render all those
chemicals benign.  And, if we could invent one, as Catherine alluded to,
it would be so expensive that our society couldn't afford it.  So, for
now, we continue to allow the environment (and human health?) pay the
The real solution is both the chemical and pharmaceutical industries
should be studying these potential effects (including metabolites)
BEFORE these products are mass-produced.  We that work on pollution
prevention know that the most effective way to remove a pollutant is to
remove it at its most concentrated point and that is before it enters
the water environment.  Dilute concentrations of any chemical are very
difficult to remove using conventional treatment and requires very long
residence times - something that would require POTWs to double or
perhaps triple (or more) in size.
I would like to recommend to you all a book by Elizabeth Grossman
called, "Chasing Molecules - Poisonous Products, Human Health and the
Promise of Green Chemistry."
The European Union has been making great strides in assuring safety of
new chemical compounds released to the market.  We need to get on the
bandwagon.  California is currently working on our "Green Chemistry
Let's hope that we do well and create a framework that will serve as a
model for the rest of our nation.
Good luck to us all,
Melody LaBella
Environmental Engineer/
Pollution Prevention Program Coordinator
Central Contra Costa Sanitary District
Martinez, CA
>>> Catherine Zimmer <zimme053 at umn.edu> 2/4/2010 6:23 AM >>>

Hi Howard,
Our society does not have the money, nor is likely willing to spend the
money,  or have the technology to render all the pharmaceuticals and
other chemicals benign.  Many wastewater treatment plants barely can
address domestic sewage without the added costs of tertiary treatment,
e.g. carbon filtration, air stripping, ozone, etc. which add millions to
smaller facilities and billions to larger facilities and nationwide.  

Minimization will come through reduced use, e.g. advocating for
non-drug therapies, improving overall health with diet and
exercise--basic public health tenets, and improved drugs that don't
require what is essentially an overdose for efficacy.  Drugs that target
the organ/s/cells of choice are being worked on, as are some that have
less environmental toxicity.  Some of those attributes have already been
identified by the city of Stockholm.  Physicians can prescribe drugs
that have less persistence in the environment, but similar biological
action.  See,

Non-drug therapies include things like physical therapy, heat and cold
treatment, massage, Neti pots, etc.  For example, this week I fell flat
on my back, twice due to ice (due to climate change, we get rain in MN a
lot nowadays) on the neighbor's driveway.  This is concerning because I
had back surgery 6 years ago. To treat the subsequent pain and
stiffness, I applied a cold pack for a day and then got back to normal
activity.  I'm still a bit stiff, but if I keep moving I'll be fine. 
The body has  remarkable capacity to heal on its own given time and
support, which doesn't necessarily have to include drugs.  

Catherine ZimmerHealth Care SpecialistMinnesota Technical Assistance
ProgramUniversity of Minnesota612.624.4635,
http://www.mnexchange.orgCelebrating 25 years of helping Minnesota
businesses maximize resource efficiency, increase energy efficiency,
reduce costs, and prevent pollution

Howard Anderson wrote: v\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}o\:*
{behavior:url(#default#VML);}w\:* {behavior:url(#default#VML);}.shape
{behavior:url(#default#VML);}st1\:*{behavior:url(#default#ieooui) } 
Dear Pharmwaste List:Remember that over  99% of these drugs come from
excretions by those of us who take the drugs and excrete metabolites, or
in many cases largely unchanged drug. We should concentrate our efforts
on teaching our sewage systems to render the chemicals benign. Sometimes
we spend a lot of time and money trying to solve 1 percent of the
problem, when we should be better served solving the 99 percent. Then
the extra 1 percent would come along, as a matter of
course.Sincerely,HowardHoward C. Anderson, Jr.,R.Ph.Executive
DirectorNorth Dakota Board of Pharmacy1906 E. Broadway Ave.P.O. Box
1354Bismarck, ND  58502-1354Phone (701) 328-9535Fax (701) 328-9536Web
site www.nodakpharmacy.com

From: pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us
[mailto:pharmwaste-bounces at lists.dep.state.fl.us] On Behalf Of Sue
Sent: Wednesday, February 03, 2010 1:22 PM
To: pharmwaste at lists.dep.state.fl.us
Subject: [Pharmwaste] FW: Chemicals in water altering genders of fish
(*LakePepin, Peedee and Potomac Rivers)
The *generating source* for these hormone-disrupting chemicals found in
rivers and streams is PEOPLE as part of the never-ending waste stream
from homes, businesses, restaurants, hospitals, research labs,
veterinary clinics, funeral homes, nursing homes, and industry which
takes a brief stop at the local wastewater treatment plant before these
unregulated and untested and unremoved hormone disrupting chemicals
are discharged as effluent into surface waters and onto farmlands via
sewage sludge (aka, biosolids) where the chemicals are found to
concentrate. The problem may not just be affecting smallmouth bass,
carp, catfish and sturgeon, but humans as well seen through research
studies showing decreasing sperm counts in men. A video is also
available for viewing at this link. Thoughts, anyone? --
Mo., Nov. 25, 2009 Chemicals in Water Alter Gender of FishPollution
Brings Worrying Signs for Fish Populations; Worse, Most U.S. Drinking
Water Comes from the Same Sources
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