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Pollution of soil and water resources by pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) is a serious environmental issue.

Types of PPCPs

  • Prescription drugs
  • Over‐the‐counter drugs
  • Therapeutic drugs
  • Veterinary drugs
  • Nutraceuticals (dietary supplements)
  • Fragrances
  • Cosmetics
  • Sun‐screen products
  • Diagnostic agents

Source of PPCPs

  • Agribusiness
  • Human activity
  • Residue from manufacturing pharmaceutical drugs
  • Residue from hospitals
  • Illicit drugs
  • Veterinary drug use (i.e., antibiotics and steroids)

Impact of PPCPs

  • Feminization and behavior changes in fish species
  • Induced reproduction in shellfish
  • Accumulation in crop roots, leaves and stems (i.e., soybeans)
  • Alteration of the biological activity of human cells
  • Impacts on insect physiology
  • Antibacterial resistance in soil microbes
  • An adverse population‐level response in not‐target wildlife (i.e., vultures)

For more information on PPCPs and how to help make an impact, proceed to What can I do to help?

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