Environmental Toxicology Forum To Be Held At Baylor May 21-22

May 17, 2004
News Photo 1949Dr. Dana Kolpin, research hydrologist and head of the Emerging Issues in Water Quality project of the U.S. Geological Survey.

by Judy Long

Nationally known water researcher Dana Kolpin, head of the emerging issues in water quality project of the U.S. Geological Survey, will speak at Baylor University May 21-22 at the regional meeting of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) on the Baylor campus. The topic of the conference will be "Emerging Issues in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry" and will be held in the newly opened Mayborn Museum complex.

The conference will begin at 1 p.m. Friday, May 21, with Kolpin's address, "Pharmaceuticals and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in Water Resources of the United States."

Kolpin is best known for his research identifying a broad range of common drugs in water downstream from urban areas. Although finding the compounds in effluent water is not surprising, Kolpin said, their presence signals a need to study their environmental impact.

Because the common substances are not considered toxic, they are not tracked routinely in water quality tests. However, scientists are beginning to consider the potential effects of low levels of pharmaceuticals that find their way into public water supplies.

Kolpin is a research hydrologist and has worked for the USGS since 1984. His research interests include the occurrence of pesticides, pharmaceuticals and other emerging contaminants in the environment. He is head of the Emerging Issues in Water Quality Project that is funded by the USGS Toxics Program.

"The conference will offer a balanced presentation of timely talks by leaders in their field, as well as outstanding student presentations from the top universities around the state. It's the first time this society has met at Baylor, and with our developing environmental and water science education and research programs, we're happy to host this year's conference," said Bryan Brooks, assistant professor of environmental studies.

Dr. Albert Schecter, a professor at the University of Texas School of Public Health in Dallas, also will speak at the conference. Schecter's research focuses on exposure assessment of persistent organic pollutants, including dioxin and, most recently, flame retardants.

The conference is sponsored by the office of the vice-provost for research and the department of environmental studies. The Brazos River Authority and the City of Waco have joined Baylor in sponsoring the regional SETAC meeting. Those interested in attending should contact Bryan Brooks at Bryan_Brooks@baylor.edu or call 710-3405 for additional information.

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