California State University, Long Beach
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Professors to Discuss Water Contaminants and Cleanup at Campus Colloquium April 14

Published: April 2, 2010

Southern California wastewater treatment plants release roughly 1.3 billion gallons of treated water daily into the environment along with pharmaceuticals, personal care products and other contaminants they were never designed to remove. Around the globe, chemicals remaining after wastewater treatment end up in oceans and groundwater with deleterious effects to wildlife and humans alike.

CSULB Professors Kevin Kelley and Stephen Mezyk are studying these effects and ways to remove such chemicals. They will discuss their findings at the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics (CNSM) Fellows Colloquium and Dean’s Breakfast program titled “Sex, Drugs, and Radical Chemistry—Radical solutions to removing drugs and personal care contaminants from treated wastewater,” at 7:30 a.m. Wednesday, April 14, in the CSULB Pyramid Annex conference room.

Kelley is an endocrinologist in the Department of Biological Sciences whose research is aimed at defining the impacts of pollutants and other human derived influences on wildlife. He will discuss his research on how some male fish are developing female characteristics as a result of environmental estrogens, including birth control hormones, being released into water, as well as other effects of environmental chemical contaminants. He received his doctorate from UC Berkeley.

Mezyk is a physical chemist in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry who studies free radical chemical and biochemical reactions in the areas of water remediation, cancer, and atmospheric ozone depletion. He received his doctorate from the University of Melbourne, Australia. He will describe how radical chemistry developed in his laboratory can provide large-scale solutions to water contaminant removal.

The program is free to members of the CNSM Fellows—the college’s premier support group—as well as CNSM students, and $25 for non-members. For reservations and to learn more about this and upcoming colloquia, visit www.beach-chemistry.com or contact Nicole Algarin-Chavarria at 562/985-7446.

–Anne Ambrose