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Title:This is your stream on drugs: Concentrations and loads of pharmaceuticals over one year in Baltimore streams
Author(s):Fork, Megan
Geographic Coverage:Baltimore, Maryland
Abstract:Presented by: Megan Fork – Postdoc at Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Co-authors: Alexander J. Reisinger, Jerker Fick, Emma J. Rosi Abstract: Pharmaceuticals are among the many anthropogenic chemical stressors faced by urban streams. We present results from one year of weekly monitoring of pharmaceuticals in stream water from eight catchments spanning an urbanization gradient in Baltimore, MD. Despite none of the streams receiving direct effluent discharge from wastewater treatment, we frequently detected pharmaceuticals in these streams. The total number of pharmaceutical detections over the year was positively correlated with population density, and the highest concentration of any pharmaceutical (3717 ng/L of acetaminophen) was found in a highly urbanized site furthest downstream. Repeated sampling revealed that pharmaceutical concentrations are highly dynamic over time, not correlated with stream discharge, and frequently below the analytical level of quantification. To account for these challenges, we used a number of methods to estimate annual loads of pharmaceuticals from this urban stream. We estimated that the equivalent of > 28,000 tablets of acetaminophen and > 9000 daily doses of antidepressants were discharged to the Chesapeake Bay in 2018 from this stream alone. In addition to developing a framework for estimating loads of pharmaceuticals in streams, this work highlights the importance of leaking infrastructure in determining the water quality of surface streams in urban landscapes. Biography: Dr. Fork’s work focuses on the direct and indirect effects of human activities such as climate change, urbanization, and construction/alteration of water bodies on the ecology of streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs. She combines concepts and approaches from multiple disciplines to characterize how these anthropogenic drivers impact the complex interactions that drive the movement and transformations of nutrients, contaminants, carbon, and water in aquatic ecosystems.
Issue Date:2021-04-28
Series/Report:2021 Emerging Contaminants in the Environment Conference (ECEC21)
Genre:Presentation / Lecture / Speech
Conference Paper / Presentation
Date Available in IDEALS:2021-04-23

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