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GLIN==> IISG News: Workshop Addresses Disposal of Medications



FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


May 31, 2007
Source: Beth Hinchey Malloy (312)886-3451; hinchey.elizabeth@epa.gov
        Scott Morgan at 812-349-2867 or smorgan@mcswmd.org

 
Indiana Workshop Addresses Disposal of Medications
 
An upcoming workshop in Indiana will address the emerging concern that medications are ending up in lakes, rivers and streams. Numerous studies have shown significant traces of pharmaceuticals in U.S. waterways.
 
"The use of prescription medicine increases and new drugs come on the market every year in this country," said Beth Hinchey Malloy, Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) Great Lakes ecosystem specialist. "When people's prescriptions change, their drugs expire or are no longer needed, these medicines are typically thrown away. But chemicals from pharmaceuticals flushed down the toilet can pass undestroyed through sewage plants, damage septic systems, and contaminate nearby waterways."
 
On June 20th, the Indiana Household Hazardous Waste Task Force is holding a one-day workshop in Indianapolis to consider this problem and to discuss collection programs as a solution.
 
Several counties in Indiana have initiated 'take-back' events, which provide an opportunity for people to bring in their unwanted medications, which are then incinerated. At the workshop, representatives from these counties will share their insight and experiences related to their collection programs.
 
"Some counties partnered with AARP as part of the TRIAD program so the focus was on reaching seniors," said Scott Morgan, task force president. (TRIAD is a partnership between senior citizens and law enforcement officials to foster education and prevent consumer fraud while promoting safety issues.) "The collection events were very popular--they went very well. At the workshop we will focus on the importance of advertising and timing in terms of planning these events successfully."
 
This workshop will provide information about the environmental and societal issues related to drug disposal that is critical to TRIAD Program representatives throughout the state, solid waste managers, waste water treatment operators or researchers, health department representatives, household hazardous waste contractors and interested citizens.
 
"Concern about disposal of unwanted medicine continues to grow as more scientific information comes to light," said Morgan. "We need to learn to manage this waste issue properly."
 
The workshop, which is supported by IISG and the Indiana Department of Environmental Management, will run from 8:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. It will take place in Conference Room C in the Indiana Government Center South, 400 West Washington Street in Indianapolis. All participants will receive a training manual developed by IISG. Lunch is not provided.
 
The workshop is free, but advance registration is required and participation is limited to the first 60 registrants. To register, visit www.indianahhw.org/training.html. For more information, contact Scott Morgan at 812-349-2867 or smorgan@mcswmd.org.
 
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The Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant College Program is one of 30 National Sea Grant College Programs. Created by Congress in 1966, Sea Grant combines university, government, business and industry expertise to address coastal and Great Lakes needs. Funding is provided by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), U.S. Department of Commerce, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Purdue University at West Lafayette, Indiana.
 

Irene Miles
Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant
386 NSRC
1101 W. Peabody Dr.
Urbana, Il 61801
(217) 333-8055
FAX (217) 333-8046