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Release: March 8, 2000

CHEEC to host international water quality conference in Chicago

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa Center for Health Effects of Environmental Contamination (CHEEC) will host an international meeting on issues related to the quality of drinking water.

The interdisciplinary workshop, titled "Endocrine Disrupters and Pharmaceutically Active Chemicals in Drinking Water," will be April 19-21 at the Holiday Inn Chicago City Center.

Endocrine disrupters refer to synthetic and naturally occurring compounds that may mimic or block hormonal functions in humans and wildlife. This, in turn, may alter reproductive or developmental systems. Some research studies suggest that exposure to these compounds may lead to cancers and other health problems.

Pharmaceutically active chemicals refer to a host of compounds that have been detected in lakes and streams, from caffeine and ibuprofen to complex mixtures of antibiotics used in both human and animal health care.

The goal of the workshop is to discuss the potential implications of endocrine disrupters and pharmaceutically active chemicals in drinking water and wastewater by examining their occurrence as well as the probability of exposures and related environmental and human health effects. Workshop participants also will formulate a research agenda for drinking water and wastewater industries to address emerging problems.

Researchers, representatives from the pharmaceutical and chemical industries, and policy makers from across the United States, as well as Canada, France, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, will take part in the workshop. Topics to be discussed will include the identification and occurrence of compounds in water and wastewater supplies; industry research and concerns; treatments and reduction efforts; ecological health and human health issues; and U.S., Canadian and European water and wastewater regulatory policies and activities of interest to water industry professionals.

UI researchers from CHEEC, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, the Environmental Health Sciences Research Center and the UI Hygienic Laboratory will make presentations or moderate discussions at the workshop. Members of Cedar Rapids and Des Moines drinking water plants have served on an organizing committee for the workshop.

The workshop is presented by CHEEC and the American Water Works Association Research Foundation, the Water Environment Research Foundation and the Water Reuse Foundation.

To register or for more information, contact CHEEC at (319) 335-4550 or visit the CHEEC Web site at