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Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Canadian Environment: Research and Policy Directions

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PPCP coverIt has been known for over 20 years that pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are released into the environment, however only in the last 10 years have analytical methods become sufficiently sensitive to identify and quantify their presence in wastewater treatment plant effluents, surface waters, drinking water, ground water, biosolids, agricultural manures, and biota. The presence of PPCPs in the environment has emerged as a societal issue, but the science with respect to exposure and impacts is still evolving.

The subject of the current report was based on a third National Workshop entitled "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Canadian Environment: Research and Policy Directions" which took place March 5th to 7th, 2007 in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. This Workshop assessed the current state of Canada's research on PPCPs in the environment in government, academia and industry sectors. Invited speakers provided overviews on environmental exposure and monitoring, effects of PPCPs on aquatic ecosystems, alternatives for reduction of human and environmental exposure to PPCPs, risk assessment process and needs, international, industry activities, provincial and municipal activities. A principal focus of the workshop was setting priorities for research, monitoring, and regulation of PPCPs. In addition the report provides an overview of policy and management issues.

This workshop report is intended to strengthen communication in this important field. The proceedings provide a common understanding of the state of the science, thereby helping researchers prioritize needs and better identify collaborative opportunities to address knowledge gaps. This report will also make funding organizations aware of the research priorities in this field, and give managers a better appreciation of existing research challenges and broader potential policy issues.

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