Roundup is Everywhere and There is More Contamination in Small Creeks Than in the Columbia River

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Scientists study occurrence and fate of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC); Journal of American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) publishes collection of research presented at CEC conference.

JAWRA April 2014 Cover

JAWRA April 2014 Cover

These “contaminants of emerging concern” (CECs) are found worldwide in both developed and pristine environments. They are everywhere, and not much is known about their effects.

Trace organic compounds such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, pesticides, hormones, flame retardants, and nanomaterials can have adverse effects on aquatic and terrestrial life and potentially on human health. These “contaminants of emerging concern” (CECs) are found worldwide in both developed and pristine environments. They are everywhere, and not much is known about their effects. Professionals dealing with water quality or environmental health need to be aware of CECs.

Current research shows that some CECs may degrade slowly in aquatic environments and some CECs are not easily removed by wastewater and/or drinking water treatment processes. Because some of these CECs can have ecological and health effects at very low concentrations, there is a need to better understand CEC occurrence and fate in environmental systems and to better communicate the results of scientific investigations to resource managers and the general public.

The April 2014 issue of Journal of the American Water Resources Association (JAWRA) presents a collection of 13 articles focusing on CECs, and each of the articles highlights a specific aspect of this broad topic. The articles were solicited from researchers who participated in the second summer specialty conference on this topic, organized by the American Water Resources Association in Denver in 2012. William A. Battaglin of the U.S. Geological Survey and Alan Kolok of the University of Nebraska edited the collection.

Some highlights from the Collection:

Battaglin Glyphosate Article:

  •     Roundup found all around
  •     Weed killer linked to butterfly's demise common in US streams
  •     Common weed killer is widespread in the environment

Thomas Pharmaceuticals Article:

  •     Unmanaged Urbanization Results in Drugs in Brazilian Streams
  •     Drugs in Urban Streams: Brazil no different from Europe or North America
  •     Urbanization primary source of drugs in Brazilian Streams

Bradley-Writer Biodegradation Article:

  •     Sunlight may remove unwanted estrogens from stream sediments

Wilson Gut Fungi Article:

  •     Fungicides give bugs a gut ache
  •     Fungi in bugs guts no match for new fungicides

Nilsen Columbia River Article:

  •     Endocrine disrupters widespread in lower Columbia River Basin bed sediment
  •     More contamination in small urban creeks than in Columbia River

JAWRA is dedicated to publishing original papers characterized by their broad approach to water resources issues. Now in its 50th year, JAWRA is published by Wiley, Inc. The April 2014 issue table of contents – all abstracts are available for free public viewing -- may be found online at JAWRA Online.

In 2014, the American Water Resources Association (AWRA) celebrates its 50th Anniversary. Since 1964, AWRA has been dedicated to the advancement of water resources management, research and education, as well as a balanced approach toward solving water resources challenges. AWRA’s membership is comprised of professionals who share a common interest in working and learning across a wide range of disciplines focused on water resources policy, practice and education. Visit AWRA Online.

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Christine McCrehin
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