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Carol Lyons, Andrea Stucky, Alex Key, Alani Premer Institute for Environmental Solutions
Introduction to IES © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | The Institute for Environmental Solutions is an independent non-profit organization that engages stakeholders to deliver technically sound solutions to complex environmental and health problems—without unwanted side effects.
Where did the boys go? Findings Fall 2003-Spring 2004: Gonadal intersex Altered sex ratio Decrease in gonad size Water sampling showed mixture of endocrine-active chemicals Conclusion: Reproductive potential of native fishes may be compromised in wastewater-dominated streams. © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | “Reproductive Disruption in Fish Downstream from an Estrogenic Wastewater Effluent” Environ. Sci. Technol. 2008, 42, , Alan M. Vajda et al, University of Colorado and U.S. Geological Survey
The IES CEC Project © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Mission: Reduce CEC concentrations entering wastewater and reduce human exposure to these contaminants. Scope: Harmful contaminants in personal care, cleaning and household (indoor and outdoor) products. (Not pharmaceuticals.) Goals: Demonstrate that prevention is better and cheaper than treatment. Show kids and adults how to reduce CEC water pollution and human exposure. Foster commitment to reduce use of personal care, food, and household products containing CECs.
Contaminants of Emerging Concern: What are they? © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Chemicals in everyday household products: Personal care products Cleaning products Packaging and food preservatives Pesticides Flame retardants
Examples © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA |
Environmental and health impacts © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Biomagnification and bioaccumulation Known to bioaccumulate in fatty tissues in humans and in wildlife (magnify in increasing concentrations as they move up the food chain).
Potential Health Risks © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Health risks Interfere with endocrine system Interfere with development Suspected toxins and carcinogens Research limitations Chemicals tested on animals and not humans Use of dose-response curves to extrapolate Few long-term studies
CECs don’t recognize borders © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | International airborne transport of contaminants to Rocky Mountain National Park (36 day trajectory) National airborne transport of contaminants to Rocky Mountain National Park (10 day trajectory)
USGS Study of Stream Contaminants © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Pharmaceuticals, Hormones and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams A National Reconnaissance es011055j ES&T 2002
Contaminants of Emerging Concern: The Challenge © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | New and relatively unknown topic Conventional focus on treatment and analytical technology New chemicals – unknown toxicity and impact; lack of screening effectiveness Problem without a face; don’t see direct effects Gap between scientific research results and public understanding
Contaminants of Emerging Concern: The Challenge Continued © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Not regulated Conventional wastewater treatment does not target or effectively remove Low-dose, long-term exposure Problem is unique: Preventable pollution Product marketing plays a large role Often the alternatives to harmful contaminants are just as bad
CECs: What to do? © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Conventional regulation Thousands of chemicals – unknown toxicity; too many to screen Treatment Expensive Limited effectiveness Unknown Prevention Effective Low- or no-cost Reduce / eliminate harm to human health and the environment Individual actions of people can make a difference
Community-based Social Marketing (CBSM) © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Education alone has little or no effect on sustainable behavior Little or no relationship between attitudes or knowledge, and behavior. Behavior change – Three pillars: Commitment – good intentions to action Norms – build community support Prompts – remember to act Fostering Sustainable Behavior - Doug McKenzie-Mohr,
Case Study: Bismarck, ND © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Nonylphenol contamination Pretreatment approach – working with local businesses and industry Social and community benefits of switching to NP-free detergents Not mandatory 90% ongoing success SOLUTION: Community approach: small business, households, schools, community groups Two potential approaches: addressing household contaminants (Blue Crew) and/or community-wide and commercial/industrial sources
Blue Crew Water Stewards Workshops © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Promote water stewardship through existing social networks Establish an environmental ethic Reduce and prevent water pollution at the household level Hands on education on how to reduce your chemical footprint Methodology: Interactive and hands-on activities Experimentation CEC-free product creation Props (plants, aquatic wildlife, and sample products)
Blue Crew Water Stewards Workshops © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | workshops series: BPA – voluntary commitment to reduce chemical footprint DEET – aquatic life in Clear Creek (the water supply); make your own DEET-free bug repellent BHA – create your own contaminant-free snack
Building Bridges © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Building on Blue Crew Water Stewards Community stakeholder involvement / collaboration CBSM is how we build the bridge Next steps: Pilot programs to demonstrate community-based prevention to solve a CEC problem.
Conclusions © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Community knowledge about CECs and potential harm is very low Traditional education / outreach is not effective People are willing to change their behavior in response to community-based one-on-one education and outreach Preventing CEC pollution from personal care and household products is feasible. Cheaper and easier to keep CECs from entering waterways than to treat downstream
Contaminants of Emerging Concern – Linking Science to Effective Action: Next Steps © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA | Looking for collaboration and team opportunities Current issues in your community _____________________________ ____________________________
The CEC Project Team Carol LyonsPatrick DePriest Andrea StuckyBruce Lundgren Elodie BoucherAlex Key Alani Premer Join or contribute to the IES CEC Project! Volunteer! Join the Steering Committee! (Meets quarterly) Contribute: Quarterly e-newsletter: © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA |
Questions / Discussion © 2014 Institute for Environmental Solutions | | Denver, Colorado USA |
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