Title of Presentation

Map the System: Presence and Impact of PPCPs in Water

Presenter Biography

Ruby and I are approaching our final term as MPH graduate students in the OHSU-PSU School of Public Health. Our program focus is Environmental Systems & Human Health, and we both have an interest in sustainable systems with regards to environmental pollution and waste.

Institution

OHSU

Program/Major

Environmental Systems & Human Health

Degree

MPH

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

4-4-2023 2:00 PM

End Date

4-4-2023 3:00 PM

Keywords

system, water, pharmaceuticals, PPCPs, lifecycle, environmental health, systems map, climate change, water monitoring, materials management, pollution prevention

Abstract

In a changing climate, there is growing emphasis on protecting our water sources and developing systems for conserving and reusing water. While many contaminants of concern are monitored and addressed by water treatment systems, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are generally not accounted for. PPCPs in water systems have been an increasing concern as detection of these products has increased over the last few decades. Studies have been exploring the impact of antibiotics, antidepressants, contraceptives, and other anthropogenic products on our water system and how these substances interact with local ecosystems. Our main research questions are to understand what factors influence the presence and impact of PPCPs in water systems, and to assess where and how health concerns might arise in relation to PPCPs in water.

In this project we use a system map to explore how PPCPs move through a water system and evaluate the occurrence of reinforcing loops which signify possible areas of PPCP accumulation. We compare this system map to those of other substances in water which receive significant monitoring and treatment. Comparing these system maps elucidates the fact that there is little to no data around PPCP presence in most water systems, yet there is risk of biomagnification in humans via amplification of trophic levels, particularly when faced with the threat of climate change and the need to reuse water. Lastly, we identify several points in the system at which monitoring, regulation, and potential removal techniques could be implemented.

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Apr 4th, 2:00 PM Apr 4th, 3:00 PM

Map the System: Presence and Impact of PPCPs in Water

In a changing climate, there is growing emphasis on protecting our water sources and developing systems for conserving and reusing water. While many contaminants of concern are monitored and addressed by water treatment systems, pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are generally not accounted for. PPCPs in water systems have been an increasing concern as detection of these products has increased over the last few decades. Studies have been exploring the impact of antibiotics, antidepressants, contraceptives, and other anthropogenic products on our water system and how these substances interact with local ecosystems. Our main research questions are to understand what factors influence the presence and impact of PPCPs in water systems, and to assess where and how health concerns might arise in relation to PPCPs in water.

In this project we use a system map to explore how PPCPs move through a water system and evaluate the occurrence of reinforcing loops which signify possible areas of PPCP accumulation. We compare this system map to those of other substances in water which receive significant monitoring and treatment. Comparing these system maps elucidates the fact that there is little to no data around PPCP presence in most water systems, yet there is risk of biomagnification in humans via amplification of trophic levels, particularly when faced with the threat of climate change and the need to reuse water. Lastly, we identify several points in the system at which monitoring, regulation, and potential removal techniques could be implemented.