Should we be concerned about the pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the water? A case of the Grand River Watershed
Municipal wastewater is a complex mixture that may pose risks to human and environmental health. We have about 3500 wastewater treatment plants in Canada, with some facilities discharging into the receiving waters with little to no treatment. Of major concern is the presence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) that are continuously discharged at low concentrations. These compounds, especially the pharmaceutical ingredients, are made to be biologically active for humans and livestock. However, non-target organisms such as fish or invertebrates may not have the functions to eliminate or modulate these compounds in the body upon exposure. This talk will discuss the impacts associated with PPCP discharge in the environment using a decade of research in the Grand River watershed (southern Ontario) as a case study.