GLRPPR is pleased to announce the availability of a new compendium of resources on Pharmaceutical & Personal Care Product (PPCP) Wastes & Impacts. This compendium focuses on the environmental impacts of pharmaceutical and personal care product residues in the environment, as well as on how to properly dispose of such products to avoid environmental contamination. As with any Sector Resource, expert contact information and lists of relevant events and funding opportunities are provided, as well as relevant Help Desk questions and answers. An RSS feed is available. This sector resource includes a link to the recently released Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant guide Disposal of Unwanted Medicines: A Resource for Action in Your Community, which also happens to be the GLRPPR Site of the Month for September 2007.
This new Sector Resource is a work in progress, so subscribe to the RSS feed or check the web site frequently for updates. If you have suggestions for resources to include, please email them to Joy Scrogum.
The Great Lakes Regional Collaboration announces a sixty day public comment period for a Draft Great Lakes Mercury in Products Phase-Down Strategy. In fulfillment of a Collaboration Strategy recommendation, in April 2006, State, Tribal, and City staff commenced development of a basin-wide Strategy for the phase-down of mercury in products and waste.
A draft Strategy is now available for public comment at http://glrc.us/initiatives/toxics/drafthgphasedownstrategy.html, through October 27, 2007. We invite comments on the Strategy itself and on how best to move forward with implementation, as well as commitments from stakeholders to implement components of the Strategy.
A copy of the draft document was first distributed to government agency experts for technical review, then revised and distributed to a limited group of industry and environmental group stakeholders. A summary of comments that were received and incorporated can also be found at the above web link.
Please send comments electronically to Debra Jacobson at email@example.com. When sending comments by e-mail be sure to put the words “Great Lakes Mercury Strategy Comments” in the subject line.
If you have questions please contact Debra Jacobson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (630) 472 – 5019 (Phone).
Thanks to Deb Jacobson for submitting this information.
The latest edition of the Minnesota Technical Assistance Program (MnTAP) newsletter, Source is now available online. Included in this issue:
- Rx for the Environment: Hospitals are reporting tenfold increases in costs for managing pharmaceutical waste. Prevention options are helping some facilities reduce drug waste and costs.
- Pharmaceutical Waste Workshops: MnTAP is sponsoring three pharmaceutical waste workshops to help hospital-based pharmacies keep in regulatory compliance.
- Minnesota Health Care Facilities Win Honors: Three Minnesota health care facilities were recognized at the Hospitals for a Healthy Environment’s Environmental Excellence Summit.
- Disposing of Drug Waste at Home: Tips on how to manage unwanted medications from your home.
- Lou-Rich Cuts Water: This contract metal manufacturer reduced water used in cleaning and cooling operations by 8.9 million gallons per year, saving $42,100 annually—with assistance from a MnTAP intern.
- Non-contact Cooling Water: Evaluate your facility’s use of non-contact cooling water to identify opportunities to reduce water use and cost.
- Where’s Your Waste–MnTAP Interns: Nine MnTAP interns are reducing waste across the Minnesota. Join us on August 23 to hear about how their companies are working to reduce waste.
- Vacuum Bagging and Infusion Demonstration: Carstens Industries will share its process for vacuum bagging and infusion in Melrose on September 12.
- Lean and Green Seminar: Manufacturers Alliance is hosting the educational seminar “The New Scene is Lean & Green” on August 9. Three manufacturers will present their experiences.
- Minnesota Materials Exchange: A materials exchange program lists one company’s unwanted material and makes it available for use by another company. The listings in Source are examples of available and wanted listings, and successful exchanges from the Minnesota Materials Exchange.
- Calendar: MnTAP posts trainings and events related to manufacturing process improvement, waste management and environmental, health and safety.
Sign-up for a free subscription of the MnTAP newsletter. You can receive the newsletter via e-mail. Minnesota businesses and organizations can choose to receive a hardcopy in the mail, ideal for routing to colleagues.
Archived past issues of Source are available on the MnTAP web site.
The Teleosis Institute has a released a new brochure called Drugs in Our Water. The brochure provides a basic overview of the problem of pharmaceuticals and personal care product residues in waterways; some simple tips for consumers as well as pharmacists and health care providers; and a description of the Green Pharmacy Program.
Thanks to Evin Guy for notifying GLRPPR about this resource.
The latest edition (Vol. 4, No. 2) of the Teleosis Institute‘s journal, Symbiosis, focuses on pharmaceutical pollution prevention. The Teleosis Institute is a non-profit organization based in Berkeley, California, devoted to developing effective, sustainable health care provided by professionals who serve as environmental stewards. Teleosis recently launched a Green Pharmacy Campaign, which is a collaboration with local pharmacies, health providers, and consumers, aimed at reducing the “footprint” of pharmaceutical medicine. The campaign includes a pilot program in Berkeley to take-back unused medicines at pharmacies and doctor’s offices.
The contents of this edition of Symbiosis include:
- Letter from the Director
- Health in the News: Pharmaceutical Pollution
- Green Pharmacy: Preventing Pharmaceutical Pollution
- Pharmaceutical Pollution: Ecology and Toxicology Considerations
- Christian Daughton and the Ecology of PPCPs: An Integral Vision
- Water Quality: Key to Many Doors in the 21st Century, by Christian Daughton, PhD
- The 4 T’s: Assessing Exposure to Multiple Chemicals
- Green Pharmacy: Preventing Pollution with Sustainable Medicine
- Facts on Pharmaceuticals and the Environment
- Ecological Economics and the Drug Life Cycle: The True Cost of Drugs
- Pollution Prevention Partner: PharmEcology, LLC
- Unused and Expired Medicines: A National Pandemic
- Pollution Prevention Partner: Physicians for Social Responsibility
- Spotlight on Green Pharmacy: Stockholm County Council
- Website Review: Environmental Protection Agency: Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care Products (PPCPs) as Environmental Pollutants
- Book Review: Macroshift: Navigating the Transformation to a Sustainable World
- Support Green Pharmacy!!
All articles are available online in PDF format at the link above.
Thanks to Evin Guy of the Teleosis Institute for sharing this information.
If you operate a small business in Minnesota, be sure to check out the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program web pages. Included are general information pages on air, water, waste and clean up issues, a link to the Environmental Guide for Small Businesses in Minnesota, information specific for various sectors (including auto body and auto repair, dry cleaning, halogenated solvent cleaning, automotive salvage yards, chromium electroplating and anodizing, fiberglass fabricators, and wood finishers), links to related EPA initiatives, and archived editions of two newsletters–Small Business Enterprise, a quarterly newsletter published by the SBEAP that covers pollution prevention, compliance and training, and The Cross Link, a newsletter geared specifically toward fiber reinforced plastics (FRP) products manufacturers.
The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has announced the availability of applications for the 2007 Community Pollution Prevention (P2) Grants Program. The goal of this program is to institute P2 practices and waste reductions at public parks, and offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about P2 and environmentally sustainable practices while observing day-to-day operations at those parks. A total of $250,000 in grant funds are available and applications are due April 30, 2007. Examples of eligible activities include: development of a park-wide P2 program; recycling projects; implementation of education outreach programs to train park staff and visitors about P2; the disposal of solid and hazardous waste, pesticides, and fertilizers located on park property; replacement of hazardous cleaning products through the purchase of environmentally friendly products; the purchase and installation of water saving fixtures and landscaping; the purchase of energy efficient lighting, heating and cooling, and maintenance equipment; and green demolition and construction projects.
Be sure to check the GLRPPR Funding Opportunities page regularly for additional notices of grants available throughout the region. Relevant funding opportunities also appear in corresponding Sector/Subject Resources on the GLRPPR web site.
It’s been an interesting week here in central Illinois. A full-fledged blizzard (how often to you see a “Blizzard Warning” in the corner of your TV screen?) dumped mounds of snow on the Champaign-Urbana area, resulting in a rare closing of the entire University of Illinois campus (for two straight days). Now, as those of us at WMRC headquarters dig ourselves out, it’s worth considering how our efforts to keep our streets and windshields clean affect the environment.
As snow melts, road salts runoff from streets, parking lots and other paved surfaces into storm sewers and eventually into waterways, where they may pose a risk to the aquatic environment. Road salts can also negatively impact vegetation and wildlife while still on the land, and can contribute to corrosion of automobiles and infrastructure. Check out Environment Canada’s web page on road salts, their environmental impacts, and what the Canadian government is doing to reduce environmental risks associated with road salts. This page includes case studies related to the management of road salt usage. For more information on road salt use north of the border, see RiverSides “Low-Salt Diet” page, which includes their publication, A Low-Salt Diet for Ontario’s Roads and Rivers. This document provides an overview of environmental and economic impacts of road salt use and discusses best management practices and alternative products.
The U.S. EPA Natural Emergencies–Snow and Ice page provides information on environmental concerns associated with snow and ice management for residences, highways and airports. Included are links to information on road salt application and storage, as well as application practices and research related to deicing chemicals. The Environmental Literacy Council provides a nice overview on the environmental impacts of deicing, considering road salt, alternatives to road salt (e.g. sand, calcium magnesium acetate, etc.) and liquid deicers. A list of recommended resources is provided for further information.
If you’re aware of other resources related to the environmental impacts of snow and ice management, or of information on environmentally friendly road salt alternatives/deicing products, email the information to Joy Scrogum for potential inclusion in the GLRPPR Sector Resources.
One of the outcomes of the GLRPPR Strategic Planning Meeting that was held in February 2006 was the formation of four “discussion groups” for the purpose of networking and facilitation of communication and cooperation among regional organizations. These groups were formed around four topics identified by meeting attendees as subjects of special interest for the region: mercury, energy efficiency, water, and lean and green manufacturing.
GLRPPR administrative staff will assist these groups as needed with the arrangement of conference calls, and facilitation of communication among members of the group and among the groups and the general membership via the maintenance of these web pages and posting or promotion of material via the GLRPPR web site and newsletter. The discussion groups are independent entities/efforts of GLRPPR members—the GLRPPR administrative staff and Steering Committee do not manage these groups or dictate the pollution prevention topics for which GLRPPR members may form groups.
Discussion Group pages are now available on the GLRPPR web site. These pages provide descriptions of these groups and contact information, as well as conference call information and shared documents of interest where appropriate. If you are interested in joining any of these groups, please contact the individual “lead” for that group, identified on the group’s page.
If you are interested in forming an additional discussion group on a topic of regional significance, please contact Bob Iverson.