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Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCP’s): Polluting our waters

Brief about my interests

Title-Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products (PPCP’s): Polluting our waters

PPCP’s are an environmental concern as they are present across the world and are persistent and bio accumulative. PPCP’s are reaching to our surface waters as well as even our groundwater and polluting; degrading our aquatic ecosystem and impair the usage for recreational and drinking purposes.

Chronic exposure of PPCPs may reduce rotifer population growth and therefore negatively influence energy transfer to higher trophic levels by decreasing productivity of the aquatic system. The presence of these chemicals may present a risk for the zooplankton community over the long term because of the continuous introduction to aquatic ecosystems via treated wastewater effluent.

PPCP toxicants include a variety of chemicals that are grouped based on their common use, such as analgesics, anticonvulsants, antimicrobials, lipid regulators, antibiotics, nonsteroidal anti?inflammatory drugs, and synthetic hormones and more. I want to go ahead and understand how these lethal chemicals are affecting our aquatic ecosystem.

Specific Note– ‘Risk assessment’ type final section where you put toxicity with likelihood of effects.

Term Paper

  1. To give you the opportunity to develop and foster your own specific interest. 
  2. To give you direct insight into toxicology.
  3. To help you gain experience using the current primary (refereed journal) literature. 
  4. To give you practice in (scientific) writing.

Students will be encouraged and guided to come up with a topic that they are interesting in and that is relevant to the course.  Students will come up with a title for their topic and 2-5 sentences on what they plan to write on. This will be handed in after 4 weeks.  Feedback on the suitability of the topic will be provided within 1 week. 

The term paper itself will be based on an analysis of how a contaminant (e.g. BPA), contaminant class (e.g. hydrocarbons), or other chemically-based risk affects (or may affect) human health.  The student will get to choose the contaminant. If a student makes a compelling argument for examining a practice that has human health impact, the paper can focus on that. If a student is keenly interested in policy and wishes to write a policy-based paper, this may also be an option.  I am open to working with you.

The goal of the assignment is for the student to become intimate with a complex, important issue of health, ideally one that the student is keenly interested in.

The term paper will consist of 10 pages of text, max (borders 0.75”, font: 12 point Times New Roman, double spaced), plus one title page, and as many pages of references as necessary.

Every day you lose 10% of its value to the course.

Term paper orientation

I will be looking for evidence that you understand what you have read and have thought carefully and critically about how it all fits together. 

Throughout, try to keep the objective in mind. You are trying to communicate to the reader: 

  • The basic issues and objectives of the research/problem being discussed
  • The major and recent research findings that have advanced understanding of the topic 
  • Any controversies in the published research or the topic of interest, and why these exist

Finally, can you put all this in context by devising some kind of model (flow chart, box diagram, etc.) that incorporates the information you present? This might not be appropriate for all topics.

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