PPCPs: An Unregulated Threat to the Environment

Document Type

Student Presentation

Presentation Date


Faculty Sponsor

Erin Stutzman


Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) are defined by the EPA as “any product used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reasons.” PPCPs are typically directly administered to the user, but waste from the products eventually get into the environment. PPCPs could affect the organisms as well as the environment they are introduced to. PPCPs contain certain chemicals such as: polydimethylsiloxane, butylated hydroxyanisole, butylated hydroxytoluene, triclosan, nano titanium dioxide, nano zinc oxide, butylparaben, diethyl phthalate, octinoxate methoxycinnamate and benzophenone. There are few restrictions and regulations for the PPCPs. When put into the environment it’s been shown to disturb the endocrine system and is a known contaminant. This causes issues in certain plants and animals in the ecosystem and negatively affects human health. This research tests for the effects of PPCPs on organisms that come into contact with polluted water, specifically using microbes and other cellular systems as a proxy for a healthy aquatic environment.

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