Research looks into ways to better gauge, curb pharmaceutical impacts on our region's aquatic resources
Armed with 19 years of experience in various roles with Merck Pharmaceuticals out of Riverside, Lou Ann Tom continues to conduct research into ways to reduce impacts of pharmaceuticals that wind up in our waterways via her role as Associate Professor of Chemistry at Susquehanna University.
Among the variety of medications created at Merck, “We made Ivermectin, which is fairly toxic and treating it was a high priority, so I got involved in studying low levels of pharmaceuticals that may wind up in the river,” she said. “Some of the components were very difficult to analyze because some things can be toxic at levels that could be very, very low – almost too low to measure.
“Ivermectin can be an issue at parts per trillion. Most of the common analytical techniques have an ability to test to parts per million or parts per billion. I started studying ways in which we could develop a method to see that compound at parts per trillion. From there, I started looking at other compounds that were common and potentially could be toxic in really low levels.”
John Zaktansky is an award-winning journalist and avid promoter of the outdoors who loves camping, kayaking, fishing and hunting with the family.