What are PPCPs?
PPCPs stand for Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products. They include:
- Prescription and over-the-counter drugs
- Veterinary drugs
- Sun-screen products
- Diagnostic agents
- Nutraceuticals (e.g., vitamins)
|Last year in Utah more people died of accidental overdoses of prescription drugs than of automobile accidents.|
Pharmaceuticals (including antibiotics, antidepressants and sex hormones) have been found in at least 41 million American's drinking water supplies. Since the concentration levels of these substances are so low (generally parts per trillion), they are far below prescription dosages. However, there is growing concern that these chemicals could contribute to health problems. Also, many pharmaceuticals sold on the streets or consumed by young people come from home medicine cabinets. Proper disposal of PPCPs can prevent misuse of pharmaceuticals.
While PPCPs may have an impact on human health, they have a much greater impact on fish and other aquatic wildlife. These organisms are more susceptible to problems from PPCPs because they have continual exposures, multi-generational exposures, and exposure to higher concentrations of PPCPs in untreated water.
Biological impacts on wildlife include:
For more information on the environmental impacts from PPCPs, visit http://www.epa.gov/ppcp/ or http://www.sbwrd.org/endocrine-investigations.aspx.
Sources of PPCPs
PPCPs get into our water from many different sources. These include:
- pharmaceutical industries
- medical facilities
- veterinary drug use (especially antibiotics and steroids)
- agricultural areas
How to properly dispose of PPCPs
Don't flush PPCPs down
- List of locations in Utah that will properly dispose of PPCPs
- See if there is a Clean Out Your Medicine Cabinet event in your area
If the above options are not available safely dispose of PPCPs in your household by
- Removing the prescription label
- Crushing up the pills
- Mixing the PPCPs with undesirables such as kitty litter or coffee grounds
- Sealing in a plastic bag
- Taking it out on the day trash is picked up