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GLIN==> Unwanted Medicine Collection Resource Wins Education Award


September 27, 2007

Contact: Irene Miles (217) 333-8055; miles@uiuc.edu
Sources: Elizabeth Hinchey Malloy (312) 886-3451; Hinchey.elizabeth@epa.gov
Susan Boehme (312) 353-4383; boehme.susan@epa.gov

Unwanted Medicine Collection Resource Wins Education Award

URBANA - An Illinois-Indiana Sea Grant (IISG) and U.S. EPA Great Lakes National Program Office project to help communities initiate unwanted medicine collection programs has been chosen this year's Best Education Program by the North American Hazardous Materials Management Association (NAHMMA). This project has been recognized in recent months by several pollution prevention and waste management organizations.

Disposal of Unwanted Medicine: A Resource for Action in Your Community is an effort to address the emerging concern that medications are ending up in lakes, rivers and streams. Numerous studies have detected 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 Elizabeth Hinchey Malloy, IISG Great Lakes ecosystem specialist. "When prescriptions change, drugs expire or are no longer needed, these medicines are typically discarded. But pharmaceuticals flushed down the toilet can pass undestroyed through sewage plants, damage septic systems, and contaminate nearby waterways."

The heart of the award-winning project is a resource kit created for communities to start take-back programs to collect unwanted medicines. Over 160 resource kits have been distributed and IISG has held workshops for over 100 local officials. As a result, a number of communities or counties in the Great Lakes region have begun collection programs.

In October, the award from NAHMMA will be presented at their annual conference in San Diego. NAHMMA is comprised of more than 500 hazardous materials management professionals that come together to advance education, foster communication, encourage policy development, recognize exemplary programs and provide professional development opportunities.

Earlier this year, the unwanted medicine collection project was selected for Honorable Mention by the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable in the category of MVP Pollution Prevention Award 2007. This not-for-profit group is the largest membership organization in the U.S. devoted solely to pollution prevention. The group provides a national forum for promoting the development, implementation, and evaluation of efforts to avoid, eliminate or reduce pollution at its source.

What's more, for the month of September, the project web page (www.iisgcp.org/unwantedmeds) has been chosen Site of the Month by the Great Lakes Regional Pollution Prevention Roundtable. This organization promotes information exchange among pollution prevention professionals in the Great Lakes region.

"Based on the tremendous response we have received from our workshops and tool kits, it is clear that communities are looking for alternatives to flushing and throwing medicines in the trash, and we are trying to provide as much support as we can," said Susan E. Boehme, IISG coastal sediment specialist.


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. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * glin-announce is hosted by the Great Lakes Information Network (GLIN): http://www.great-lakes.net To subscribe: http://www.glin.net/forms/glin-announce_form.html To post a message: http://www.glin.net/forms/glin-announce_post.html To search the archive: http://www.glin.net/lists/glin-announce/ All views and opinions presented above are solely those of the author or attributed source and do not necessarily reflect those of GLIN or its management. * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *