Presentation on Human-Use Pharmaceuticals in the Estuarine Environment at Geological Society of America Conference Generates Discussions of Next Steps to Address Issue
A National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) scientist presented an invited paper at the recent Geological Society of America (GSA) Annual Meeting, resulting in good discussions, including next steps needed to assess the emerging issue of pharmaceuticals in coastal waters. The presentation, “Survey of Human Use Pharmaceuticals in the Estuarine Environment,” focused on the results of a pilot project to assess the presence of a number of commonly prescribed human-use pharmaceuticals in the Chesapeake Bay. There is increasing concern that these biologically active compounds could be impacting aquatic organisms. Next steps needed to address the issue would include work to better characterize the geographic extent of human and also animal use pharmaceuticals in estuarine and coastal areas, and experiments to assess any biological effects of the concentrations detected. The GSA Annual Meeting, which brings together researchers from across the spectrum of geosciences, was held in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 22-25, 2006.