New Waves March 2008

Breaking news about water resources research and education in Texas

Baylor scientists researching pharmaceuticals in water

Baylor University researchers are working to figure out a way to clean chemical compounds such as those found in Prozac and birth control pills out of the water supply, according to a news story in the university's student newspaper.

Dr. Bryan Brooks, environmental studies associate professor and director of the Ecotoxicology and Aquatic Research Laboratory, and Dr. Joe Yelderman, geology professor, are the researchers working on the project.

"Our current wastewater treatment plants do a really good job most of the time," Brooks said in the Baylor student newspaper, The Lariat. "They just aren't designed for pharmaceuticals or personal care products."

Small portions of the compounds found in these products are able to slip through the treatment processes at the wastewater plants, getting into the water supply and affecting the wildlife it houses, he said.

The Associated Press (AP) recently published a 5-month investigative report on pharmaceuticals in drinking water. According to the AP, at least 41 million Americans receive drinking water with trace amounts of an array of pharmaceuticals.

For the complete Baylor story go to the Lariat's Web site. For a version of the AP story, see CNN's story.

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