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Emerging Contaminants in the Environment

Presenter: Dana Kolpin, Research Hydrologist, U.S. Geological Survey
Dana Kolpin is a research hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey in Iowa City, IA. He received his B.S. from Iowa State University and his M.S. from the University of Iowa (both in geology). His research interests include the fate and transport of pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and other emerging contaminants in the environment. He has published over 100 papers and reports on environmental contaminants. He has been the project chief of the USGS Toxic Program’s Emerging Contaminants Project since its inception in 1998.

Overview: Research is documenting with increasing frequency that many emerging contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, hormones, and fragrances that have not historically been considered as environmental contaminants are present across the world. These emerging contaminants are commonly detected in municipal, agricultural, and industrial wastewater sources. Since 1998, the United States Geological Survey (USGS) Emerging Contaminants Project has been conducting “source to receptor” research on this rapidly advancing topic. The primary objectives of this project are to 1) develop the analytical tools required for detecting ECs in the environment, 2) document the environmental occurrence and concentration of ECs, 3) characterize contaminant sources and their potential pathways into the environment, 4) determine processes and factors that affect the transport and fate of ECs, and 5) assess the potential deleterious effects of ECs and complex mixtures of ECs on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. To carry out these research objectives, an interdisciplinary team of scientists has been assembled. A range of research activities by the Emerging Contaminants Project will be highlighted during this presentation.

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Length: 1 hour

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