Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Survey of U.S. Streams Finds Numerous Contaminants

13.03.2002



Many chemicals commonly used in medications such as over-the-counter painkillers or birth control pills end up far from their intended destination - in American streams. According to a new report, published online today by the journal Environmental Science and Technology, a number of the waterways contain complex cocktails of compounds.

The 30-state study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, tested 139 streams for 95 organic contaminants - ranging from medications and hormones to insecticides and fire retardants--between 1999 and 2000. In 35 percent of the waterways, the researchers found 10 or more compounds and 80 percent of the sites harbored at least one chemical. In one particularly polluted stream, the team detected 38 contaminants. The most frequently encountered compounds included the steroids coprostanol and cholesterol, the insect repellant DEET, triclosan (the active ingredient in antimicrobial soaps) and caffeine.

Because this was the first attempt to clarify the distribution of these so-called pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs), the scientists specifically chose streams likely to display contamination such as those near urban areas or livestock production facilities. Thus, they should not be considered representative of all streams in the U.S. And although the plethora of pollutants is discouraging, most of their concentrations were low, often measuring less than one part per billion. The scientists note, however, that some hormones can affect aquatic life at exceedingly low concentrations and that the potential toxicological effects of many of the detected chemicals remain unclear.


Sarah Graham | Scientific American

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Not of Divided Mind
19.01.2017 | Hertie-Institut für klinische Hirnforschung (HIH)

nachricht CRISPR meets single-cell sequencing in new screening method
19.01.2017 | CeMM Forschungszentrum für Molekulare Medizin der Österreichischen Akademie der Wissenschaften

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Traffic jam in empty space

New success for Konstanz physicists in studying the quantum vacuum

An important step towards a completely new experimental access to quantum physics has been made at University of Konstanz. The team of scientists headed by...

Im Focus: How gut bacteria can make us ill

HZI researchers decipher infection mechanisms of Yersinia and immune responses of the host

Yersiniae cause severe intestinal infections. Studies using Yersinia pseudotuberculosis as a model organism aim to elucidate the infection mechanisms of these...

Im Focus: Interfacial Superconductivity: Magnetic and superconducting order revealed simultaneously

Researchers from the University of Hamburg in Germany, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Aarhus in Denmark, have synthesized a new superconducting material by growing a few layers of an antiferromagnetic transition-metal chalcogenide on a bismuth-based topological insulator, both being non-superconducting materials.

While superconductivity and magnetism are generally believed to be mutually exclusive, surprisingly, in this new material, superconducting correlations...

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Sustainable Water use in Agriculture in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

19.01.2017 | Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

New Study Will Help Find the Best Locations for Thermal Power Stations in Iceland

19.01.2017 | Earth Sciences

Not of Divided Mind

19.01.2017 | Life Sciences

Molecule flash mob

19.01.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>