Keynote Presentations

Contaminants of Emerging Concern: New Environmental Challenges

Presented by Dana Kolpin - Research Hydrologist, United States Geological Survey

Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) encompass a vast array of understudied environmental contaminants (e.g., pharmaceuticals, hormones, personal care products and their transformation products) and are derived from a variety of natural, municipal, domestic, agricultural, and industrial waste sources and pathways to the environment. New analytical methods are continually being developed that are ever expanding the detection capabilities and therefore the scope and range of contaminants covered under this broad contaminant category. There is growing concern that such CECs may be bioactive and interactive (e.g., additive, synergistic, antagonistic effects) and potentially cause deleterious effects to ecosystem and human health.  In particular, chronic, behavioral effects (e.g., altered predator avoidance patterns, etc.) are being documented following exposure to select CECs at environmentally relevant concentrations. This talk will summarize the latest CEC research being conducted by the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program.


More than Hormones: Endocrine Disrupting Impacts of Emerging Contaminants and Potential Solutions

Presented by Rebecca Klaper - Professor and Director of the Great Lakes Genomics Center at the School of Freshwater Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

The discovery of intersex fish in freshwater systems around the world has been suggested as an indicator of the widespread occurrence of endocrine disrupting compounds in aquatic ecosystems. Multiple compounds from wastewater treatment, leaky infrastructure, and urban and agricultural runoff may potentially be the cause, however, synthetic estrogens from birth-control medications are often identified as a likely cause. However, the impact of other pharmaceuticals and emerging contaminants which have also been found in even larger concentrations in wastewater and surface waters remain largely unknown. Our research has shown that other medications as well as plasticizers and pesticides may also cause changes in hormone levels, reproduction, and behavior that impact reproduction. Metformin is one such medication. Prescribed for Type II diabetes, the prescription rates for this medication have grown significantly in the last 20 years for a variety of reasons. This talk will describe the impacts of this medication on the endocrine system of fish. In addition, the presentation will discuss the potential solutions that are being explored or could be explored to provide solutions to emerging contaminants that are found to be hazardous.


The Role of Veterinarians in Proper Pharmaceutical Disposal

Presented by Kristi Henderson - Director, Division of Animal and Public Health, American Veterinary Medical Association

The discussion will present AVMA’s pharmaceutical disposal best management practices, resources, and professional and public outreach.


The Impact of Proposed EPA Regulations on the Disposal of PPCPs*

Presented by Charlotte Smith - Senior Regulatory Advisor and Mary Hendrickson - Chief Regulatory Consultant, both from PharmEcology Services, WM Sustainability Services

The EPA recently closed the comment period on the most sweeping proposed changes to the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) regulations pertaining to the management of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals and personal care products since its inception in 1976. If adopted, how will these regulations alter the management of hazardous waste PPCPs? What impact will the regulations have on the disposal of non-hazardous waste PPCPs? How can the scientific community respond best to EPA’s request for guidance on totally revamping the definition of hazardous waste PPCPs? These are some of the questions this session will explore. Participants will be encouraged to enter into dialog with EPA regarding the next step in meeting its mandate by the EPA Office of Inspector General to update the list of hazardous waste pharmaceuticals based on the entry of thousands of drug entities into the marketplace in the past 40 years.

*Note: Video and slides are not available for this presentation.