Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) are considered to be ongoing emerging contaminants because they are a perceived and potential threat to public health and wildlife, there is a lack of protective standards, and limited toxicity and source/pathway exposure information is evolving.
PPCPs include medicines, insect repellents, sunscreens, perfumes, soaps, fragrances, and lotions. Some PPCPs are EDCs, and could possibly affect the system of glands that produces hormones that help control metabolic activity and development. Use and disposal of these products can lead to the potential release of their constituents to the environment through domestic sewage and other sources.
PPCPs and EDCs have been found in trace levels in ground water and surface water across the country. Numerous research studies have been underway for many years to determine levels of PPCPs and EDCs in various environmental media. Current analytical tools allow for the detection of these compounds down to very low levels such as parts per trillion or less.
- Foster information exchange through the MassDEP Emerging Contaminants Work Group, which brings together a broad range of cross-program expertise on PPCPs/EDCs.
- Support research on the removal of PPCP/EDCs by septic systems.
- Pollution Prevention: Support pharmaceutical take back programs to reduce environmental releases.
- Stay current on significant PPCPs/EDCs research.
- Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products
MassDEP web page. Includes an overview of Research and Technical Information.
- MassDEP Research on Removal of Pharmaceuticals & Personal Care Products by Septic Systems
- U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Endocrine Disruptor Screening Program
- Pharmaceutical Compounds in Merrimack River Water Used for Public Supply, Lowell, Massachusetts, 2008–09
U.S. Geographical Survey (USGS) Report
- Emerging Contaminants in Cape Cod Private Drinking Water Wells
Silent Spring Institute Study, 2010
- Emerging Contaminants in Cape Cod Water
Silent Spring Institute Study, 2009