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National Reconnaissance of Pharmaceuticals, Hormones and Other Organic Wastewater Contaminants in U.S. Streams is Making an Impact

USGS technicians measuring field parameters with a multiparameter meter in a stream
Field technicians measuring field parameters with a multiparameter meter in a stream during a reconnaissance study of emerging contaminants in the environment.

The USGS's National Reconnaissance of Pharmaceuticals in U.S. Streams is making an impact in the scientific and regulatory communities.

"In 2002, there was no doubt which article in ES&T had the most impact: [the USGS Toxics Program report on emerging contaminants] ... it is truly a remarkable article. It may prove to be the most cited paper in the history of ES&T. In the first two weeks following publication (Web release date: March 13, 2002), the article had approximately 4000 downloads from the ES&T Website and was reported by media throughout the world. During the three months from July-September, 2002, it still "had legs" with 728 downloads. In addition, it spawned several Comments and Response to Comments in ES&T, all with considerable public interest. This represents the success for which journals, publishers, and scientists all strive."

— Jerald L. Schnoor, Editor, Environmental Science and Technology, in "Making an Impact," A Comment in Environmental Science and Technology, March 2003

The paper documented the presence of low levels of many organic wastewater compounds, including prescription and non-prescription drugs, hormones, and other wastewater compounds, in a network of 139 targeted streams across the United States.

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