2016 Teacher Workshop on Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in the Environment

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) encompass thousands of chemicals found in fragrances, cosmetics, over-the-counter drugs, and human and veterinary medicines. The U.S. EPA has identified PPCPs as emerging contaminants of concern because little is known about their impacts on ecosystems or risks to human health when they are released into the environment. For example, while PPCPs help people and animals live healthier lives, their use sometimes comes with unforeseen consequences. Improper use or disposal of pharmaceuticals can: cause accidental poisonings of children, the elderly, and pets; contribute to the prescription drug abuse epidemic; and waste healthcare dollars. Even when PPCPs that are used correctly, there are still amounts that are excreted or washed off. Because wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove the PPCPs, these chemicals are ending up in the environment where they impair reproduction and development in wildlife, and can contaminate drinking water and food crops irrigated with treated wastewater.

The free Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) in the Environment workshop for middle school and high school teachers was held on June 15 or 16, 2016, and was hosted by the Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) and Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant. Up to 8 professional development hours were available for teachers to earn through the University of Illinois.

Teachers participated in tours of the Urbana Wastewater Treatment Plant and the ISTC laboratories where they saw firsthand how wastewater is treated and how ISTC's lab is working on effective removal methods for PPCPs from wastewater. On the afternoon, they work together on activities from the new IISG curriculum guide - The Medicine Chest. Upon completion of the workshop, IISG provided The Medicine Chest curriculum for teachers to implement in their classrooms. Teachers will be asked to evaluate the activities they do with their students and provide feedback as part of their participation in the workshop.


WHEN? One Day: June 15 or 16, 2016, 8 AM to 5 PM

WHERE? Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC), 1 E. Hazelwood Drive, Champaign, IL 61820 (Google Maps location of ISTC)

WHO? Illinois and Indiana middle and high school and preservice science teachers can register.

COST? FREE with lunch provided plus a $100 stipend!

Related Links


button to The Medicine Chest online curriculum button to Sensible Disposal of Unwanted Medicines online curriculum