ARE STREAMS A DRUG FREE ZONE? Last year, USGS unveiled a significant study showing traces of pharmaceuticals, over the counter drugs and household chemicals in streams and rivers across America. Now, USGS is trying to learn how long it takes for those chemicals to travel in the environment. Throughout the summer, USGS scientists in Iowa and Colorado are injecting a nontoxic red dye, as a proxy for the drugs, into rivers and following the dye downstream using high-tech instruments to detect even minute portions of the dye. What scientists will learn from this is how concentrations of the pharmaceuticals may change as they are transported downstream. These studies represent a continuing effort by the USGS Toxic Substances Hydrology Program to understand the source, fate, and transport of pharmaceuticals and other organic wastewater contaminants in the environment. For more information, see the journal article that started it all at http://toxics.usgs.gov/regional/emc_surfacewater.html and then call Dana Kolpin at 319-358-3614.
A POX UPON YOU? JUST CHECKING: You know them best as the USGS researchers tracking the spread of West Nile Virus in birds from coast-to-coast. But wildlife health specialists from the USGS National Wildlife Health Center in Madison, Wis., are also on the job this summer looking for the monkeypox virus in wildlife. Teaming with counterparts from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and health departments in Wisconsin and Illinois, USGS scientists are beginning a field surveilla
Contact: Butch Kinerney
United States Geological Survey