Studies focus on meds, personal products in the environment
Tuesday, August 19, 2014

In today’s chemically dependent society, we use products that we rarely think twice about. However, their use leads to many chemicals—including pharmaceuticals, hormones, shampoo, and other personal care products—ending up in our environment.

Evidence suggests that some of these emerging contaminant (emcon) chemicals can have dramatic environmental effects, including negative effects, on the health of our rivers, lakes, and streams.

That's why scientists from around the world are converging on Iowa City Aug. 19-22 to attend "EmCon 2014: Fourth International Conference on Occurrence, Fate, Effects & Analysis of Emerging Contaminants in the Environment" at the University of Iowa.

Scientists will deliver more than 100 oral and poster presentations discussing the latest advances on the high-profile topic of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC).

For example, Tia-Marie Scott of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) is studying whether pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities are an important source of drugs entering the environment. Scott will give a talk, "A National Study of Pharmaceuticals in Wastewater Treatment Plants Receiving Discharges from Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Facilities," at 9:45 a.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, in Shambaugh Auditorium, UI Main Library, corner of Washington and Madison streets, in Iowa City.

Also, Heiko Schoenfuss of St. Cloud State University will give a talk on “A Multi-tiered Assessment of Biological Effects of Contaminants of Emerging Concern in Great Lakes Tributaries” at 3 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 20, in Shambaugh Auditorium.

For a complete list of technical program talks and venues, visit here.

Also, contact conference organizers David Cwiertny, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, UI College of Engineering,, 319-335-1401 or Dana Kolpin, research hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey,, 319-358-3614.

For a complete list of conference activities and presentations, see the conference website.

For more information, visit here.

Editor's Note: Though conference participation is only for those who register in advance, members of the media are encouraged to attend.