Drugs and Personal Care Products Polluting Water
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs): Are your personal habits and lifestyle contributing to contaminated drinking water?
What are "PPCPs"?
Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products as Pollutants (PPCPs) refers, in general, to any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons or used by agribusiness to enhance growth or health of livestock. PPCPs comprise a diverse collection of thousands of chemical substances, including prescription and over-the-counter therapeutic drugs, veterinary drugs, fragrances, lotions, and cosmetics.
What are the major sources of PPCPs in the environment?
Sources of PPCPs:
The importance of individuals adding chemicals to the environment has been largely overlooked. The discovery of PPCPs in water and soil shows even simple activities like shaving, using lotion, or taking medication affect the environment in which you live.
People contribute PPCPs to the environment when:
Personal use and manufacturing of illicit drugs are a less visible source of PPCPs entering the environment.
Many of the issues pertaining to the introduction of drugs to the environment from human usage also pertain to veterinary use, especially for antibiotics and steroids.
The discharge of pharmaceuticals and synthesis materials and by-products from manufacturing are already well defined and controlled.
This poster shows a generalized synopsis of the sources of PPCPs in the environment.
What is the overall scientific concern?
Studies have shown that pharmaceuticals are present in our nation's waterbodies. Further research suggests that certain drugs may cause ecological harm. More research is needed to determine the extent of ecological harm and any role it may have in potential human health effects. To date, scientists have found no evidence of adverse human health effects from PPCPs in the environment.
Reasons for concern:
Large quantities of PPCPs can enter the environment after use by individuals or domestic animals.