Effects of drugs and endocrine disrupting chemicals in water to be focus of conference

The effects of drugs and endocrine disrupting chemicals on wildlife will be explored by the experts at an upcoming National Ground Water Association conference in Minneapolis.

WESTERVILLE, OH, April 13, 2001 — Antibiotics in tap water, drug-resistant bacteria in rivers, male fish turning into females: early evidence of the emerging issue of contamination of water supplies by drugs and endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs).

The effects of such chemicals on wildlife will be explored by an array of international experts at the National Ground Water Association's (NGWA) 2nd International Conference on Pharmaceuticals and Endocrine Disrupting Chemicals in Water, to be held October 9-11, 2001, in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Scientists from Australia, Denmark, Germany, India and the U.S. will address the emergence of pharmaceuticals and EDCs as new environmental contaminants in rivers and municipal water systems. Recent media reports have disclosed antibiotics in drinking water, drug-resistant bacteria-"superbugs"-in some of the nation's biggest rivers, and evidence of gender-reversal in fish that may be tied to EDCs.

The extent of the contamination and its impact on animals, and new ways to test for and successfully treat these compounds in water will be key issues at the conference, with sessions on:

� Occurrence of pharmaceutical compounds in ground and surface waters

� Occurrence and fate of EDCs in water

� Analysis of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting chemicals

� Distribution and effects on wildlife

� Treatment technologies for pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting chemicals

The keynote speaker will be one of the pre-eminent authorities in the field, Thomas Ternes, of ESWE-Institut fuer Wasserforschung und Wassertechnologie in Wiesbaden, Germany. He is co-author of an influential report, "Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products in the Environment: Agents of Subtle Change," which appeared in Environmental Health Perspectives.

Other presenters in the pharmaceuticals session include Thomas Heberer of the K. Reddersen Institute of Food Chemistry in Berlin, Germany, who will discuss the water system of Berlin as an example of urban ecosystems; James P. Hagen of GlaxoSmithKline Pharmaceuticals, who will provide an industry perspective; and scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey.

Presenters on issues related to EDCs include Pamela Wild and Monika Moeder of the Centre for Environmental Research in Leipzig, Germany, and representatives of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The event is co-sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health, the Pan American Health Organization, the Technical University of Berlin, the U.S. EPA National Risk Management Research Lab and the U.S. Geological Survey.

For more information or to register, contact the NGWA Customer Service Center at (800) 551-7379 or visit the NGWA website at www.ngwa.org and click on the "Education" button at the top of the front page. A not-for-profit 16,500-member organization, National Ground Water Association (NGWA) is the leading information and education provider for the ground water industry.

The organization's membership includes drilling contractors, equipment manufacturers and suppliers, ground water scientists, engineers, geologists and environmental professionals.

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