Degradation of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in aquatic systems: Ecotoxicological and human health effects

Project Investigator: Gayan Rubasinghege

Project Description:  Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) include a diverse collection of chemical substances, including anti-inflammatory, hormones, antibiotics, and found in environmental samples and drinking water. Growing medical and personal needs of the human population has caused a significant increase in the emission of these PPCPs. This has raised concerns related to the potential effects of active PPCPs in the environment on human and environmental health. These PPCPs may also break down or transform in to various secondary compounds those can have harmful effects to humans, different from their parent compounds. However, only limited research has been done to determine the occurrence and health risks of PPCPs in the environment. To make things worse, we poorly understand the environmental degradation, transformation and fate of PPCPs and the toxicological impacts of these non-extractable secondary residues. Our primary goal is to investigate the degradation pathways of PPCPs to better understand fate, transformation, and long-term health risks of PPCPs. These discoveries will facilitate to develop new regulatory policies to assess and control the health risks of exposure to PPCPs.

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