Lake Michigan study shows preponderance of personal care product and pharmaceuticals

By on September 13, 2013

Great Lakes from space (Credit: SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE.)


A new study on personal care products and pharmaceuticals in Lake Michigan reveals a greater preponderance of chemicals than previously known, according to a paper published in the journal Chemosphere.

Researchers from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee tested wastewater effluent and then sampled sediment and water off the coast of a Wisconsin wastewater treatment plant and two sites in a harbor.

They found several chemicals in effluent that were higher than recommended maximum daily loads. Caffeine, triclosan and twelve other chemicals were found at levels considered an ecological risk.

In offshore surface water samples, researchers found the antidiabetic drug metformin was in 100 percent of samples.  Thirty compounds in total were detected in sediment at levels above maximum daily load recommendations.

Image: Satellite image of the Great Lakes from space (Credit: SeaWiFS Project, NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and ORBIMAGE.)

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