I wanted to mention a few things about the recent articles
and to address the question on leachate testing. Pharmaceutical
disposal was the topic of my dissertation which I completed this year,
specifically in landfills.
Leachate testing - Yes, testing has and continues to be
conducted. For my dissertation at the University of
Florida completed earlier this year, we sampled ten landfills in the
state of Florida for 10 pharmaceutical compounds and compared those results
with other wastewater treatment plant inputs and with laboratory experiments
on degradation in landfills. The papers are currently submitted to
journals for review and hopefully publication soon. Additionally,
myself with the University of Florida, the USGS, and the EPA are now working
to conduct a national survey of leachate for many more compounds.
However, we are doing this without funding and are asking for landfills to
volunteer a fee to include analysis for the pharms and many other standard
leachate parameters. So please, if anyone may be interested or knows a
local agency/landfill that may, please pass along the word and my contact information.
As for the latest AP stories, I think the AP has done a
great job in raising public awareness but have done a poor job with being
complete in their description. The AP failed to adequately describe
their methods. They conducted no scientific study of their own.
They simply asked utilities and researchers if they had looked and what did
they found. Therefore, for example Philadelphia, which had done a
fairly comprehensive study of their water, looked terrible because they
reported so many compounds. While others like Austine Texas, who only
looked for a few, looked good by reporting nothing found. In fact, I
would prefer to live in Philadelphia since it appears they care enough to be
They also published an article about the regulations.
While I agree the regulations are restricting, I believe they also
misrepresented the facts and national policies as well. Perhaps we need
to get involved in this issue more to make sure the public gets accurate
Stephen Musson, Ph.D., CHMM, CIH
2736 Cox Lane
Cincinnati, OH 45209
--- On Tue, 9/16/08, Marta Keane <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Marta Keane
Subject: [Pharmwaste] Teasting Leachate for Pharmaceuticals
Date: Tuesday, September 16, 2008, 5:30 PM
Over the past ten years, have there been any studies of the liquid that comes
out of landfills, known as leachate, to learn the amount of pharmaceuticals it
contains? Have there been any studies or further testing of the treated
leachate that eventually is released into fresh water sources, such as streams
Marta Keane, Recycling Program Specialist
Will County Land Use - Waste Services
58 E. Clinton Street, Suite 500
Joliet, IL 60432
Recycle at home and at work!
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