Exposure to emerging contaminants, even at extremely low doses, can cause adverse health effects for humans, including endocrine disruption which can lead to developmental malformations, interference with reproduction, increased cancer risk and disturbances in the immune and nervous system functions. These emerging contaminants include pharmaceuticals and personal care products, hormones, perfluorinated alkyls and volatile organics, and they may pose a threat to both the environment and human health. Several presentations at the 2018 Society for Risk Analysis (SRA) Annual Meeting will examine occurrence, estimation of risk and the threat to human health posed by these contaminants in wastewater.
The presence of hormones and pharmaceuticals in groundwater used for drinking poses a potential threat to human health. Laura Bexfield’s presentation, "Hormones and pharmaceuticals in groundwater used as a source of drinking water across the United States," explores the results of the U.S. Geological Survey’s National Water-Quality Assessment (NAWQA) Project study which analyzed samples from 1,091 groundwater sites across the U.S. for 21 hormones and 103 pharmaceuticals.
The assessment found at least one hormone or pharmaceutical in untreated groundwater at six percent of 844 sites representing the resource used for public supply, and at 11 percent of 247 sites […]