Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant and University of Illinois Extension

Research and Resources

If you are looking for basic information about which pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are found in the environment and how they get there, check out Why We Care and the Sea Grant resources listed below. If you need more in-depth information, then we encourage you to go to the resources listed below.

IISG-Sponsored Research

IISG has sponsored several projects that dealt with pharmaceuticals in the environment.

    • Estimating the ecological impacts of pharmaceutical in Lake Michigan
      Principal investigator: Maria Sepulveda
      Completion: April 2013




    • Pharmaceuticals removal from onsite wastewater (septic) systems
      Principal Investigator: Dr. Hassian Azam
      Completion Date: August 2011





  • Glassmeyer, S.T., E.K. Hinchey, S.E. Boehme, C.G. Daughton, I.S. Ruhoy, O. Conerly, R.L. Daniels, L. Lauer, M. McCarthy, T.G. Nettesheim, K. Sykes, and V.G. Thompson. 2009. Disposal practices for unwanted residential medications in the United States. Environment International. Vol. 35 Issue 3, p566-572.

Sea Grant Resources

Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Disposal of Unwanted Medicines: A Resource for Action in Your Community
Improper medicine disposal can have unintended consequences for the environment and public health. This toolkit guides communities on how to start a medicine collection program.

The Medicine Chest The Medicine Chest: A Collection of Safe Disposal
Curriculum Activities and Service-Learning Resources
This collection of lessons teaches middle and high school students about how medicine can contaminate local waters. Sample stewardship activities provide them with the tools to share what they've learned with others in their community.

Sensible Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Sensible Disposal of Unwanted Medicines: 4-H Guide
This 4-H guide uses inquiry-learning techniques to teach teens about the impacts of improper medicine disposal and what they can do to help keep these chemicals out of the water.

Prescription for Safety: How to Dispose of Unwanted Medicine Prescription for Safety: How to Dispose of Unwanted Medicine
This brochure provides tips on how to properly use, store and dispose of expired or unwanted medications. It was developed by IISG, on behalf of the National Sea Grant Office, in partnership with the American Veterinary Medical Association.

Keep Unwanted Medications & Chemicals Out of the Great Lakes Keep Unwanted Medications & Chemicals Out of the Great Lakes
This four-page factsheet is a primer on how pharmaceuticals and personal care products enter the environment and what consumers can do to properly dispose of them. This fact sheet was developed by New York Sea Grant.

Microbeads in the Great Lakes Microbeads in the Great Lakes
Plastic microbeads used in some facial scrubs and other personal care products are finding their way to the Great Lakes. Learn what you can do to reduce the amount of plastic. This factsheet was developed by New York Sea Grant.

Dose of Reality It's what you can't see Dose of Reality and It's What You Can't See
These newspaper inserts are targeted at keeping pharmaceuticals and personal care products out of waterways in the Great Lakes region. The newspaper inserts were developed by Pennsylvania Sea Grant. For more information go to

Don't Fush Your Meds Poster Don't Flush Your Meds
This outreach poster was developed by Ohio Sea Grant.


PowerPoint Presentations

Sea Grant staff have also developed multiple PowerPoint presentations to educate various audiences about the need for proper medicine disposal. All files are provided in pdf format, but the PowerPoint slides may be available from the authors. Please use these resources to help educate others on this topic or contact the authors to see if they can speak at one of your upcoming conferences.


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