Issue Paper

2 Jul

The biological impact of Pharmaceuticals and Personal care products (PPCPs) may be the new danger to people all around the world. These products people used on a daily basis are leaving behind bioactive chemical waste that endangers the environment and contaminates the water supplies.  The danger it pose to human is still unclear but one thing for certain is it in our water.

The Pharmaceuticals and Personal Care products or “PPCPs” term was first used in “Environmental Health Perspective Journal” to describe the wide and diverse collection of bioactive waste. These PPCPs waste comprised of prescription drugs, OTC drug, veterinary drug, therapeutic drugs, fragrances, cosmetics, sun-screened agents, diagnostic agents, nutraceuticals, biopharmaceuticals, growth enhancing chemicals and other chemical substances used by individuals for personal health or cosmetic reason. PPCPs is different from other pollution waste because it’s a bioactive chemical, it’s has ability to affect living tissues.

The first major source of PPCPs comes from human activity.  Advance in medicine has brought millions of different drugs in helping people deal with everything from high cholesterol to depression and even restless leg syndromes. The problem with all of these drugs is that the human body doesn’t metabolize everything; the unmetabolized drug then is excreted d by the body through the urine, excrement and even sweat of the individual. Personal care products such as soap, cosmetic, sunscreen or topical medication is also released when the individual takes a shower.

The second source of PPCPs comes from hospital and Health care institution (nursing home). Left over, expired and unused medication is often disposed of by flushing down the toilet or the drain. Most of this is attributed to death of a patient, transfer of a patient or expiration of bulk medication. While hospital might have a policy of buy back medication with manufacturers, smaller health institutions don’t. The disposal of the drugs down the drain has often been the policy in the absent of such buyback policy.

Other source of PPCPs include Pharmaceutical manufacturers who dispose drug chemical and there byproduct into the waste sewer system. Industrial farming of animal has increased antibiotic and steroids drugs runoff from animal excrement into the environment. Illicit drug manufactures dumping of toxic chemical into drain.

Once these PPCPs enter the sewer system they might leaked into the surrounding soil because of corroded pipes or leak into an underground aquifer. The PPCPs that doesn’t leak is carried to the sewage treatment facility and turn either into sludge to be used for agriculture or gets treated and discharged into storm overflow system. The problem with this is the water treatment facilities is not prepared to treat pharmaceutical drugs in the water. This allows the PPCPs to get into the surface water and contaminated soil sediments.

According to the U.S. Geological Survey in 1999 and 2000 found 1 or more medications in 80% of water samples from a network of 139 streams. The USGS  study  in 2010 found  23% of the untreated  932 public wells  contaminated  with herbicides, insecticides, solvents, disinfection by products, nitrate and gasoline chemicals. Another USGS study found that wastewater treatment plants that service pharmaceutical manufacturers had a higher level of PPCPs outflow. The two waste water plants in New York that serve the pharmaceutical manufacturer had a higher concentration level of PPCPs, 10 to 1000 time more than 24 waste water plant nationwide combine.

The danger of PPCPs to human is still unknown since the chemical is so diluted in the water source and the part per trillion(ppt) is too low to have real effect. However ecological damage is being seen on aquatic organism.  The organism exposure to high concentration of PPCPs might be a telling sign of overexposure to these bioactive chemical side effects. A study of fish living in high level of estrogen and chemical that act like it has shown a feminizing effect on the male fish. The ratio of male to female became 1 to 10 and in other study, the population just died off. The fish population of male started becoming intersex or both sex in water filled with these PPCPs. The source of the estrogen comes from birth control pills, postmenopausal hormone and human by product. Other studies have found psychoactive pharmaceuticals drugs gives fish autism-like gene expression. One alarming thing about PPCPs that scientist warns about is the mixture of chemical in the water. Scientist have recently found that household detergents, and shampoo PPCPs have suspected cancer causing contaminant called NDMA. When household cleaning PPCPs mixed with chloramine (a waste water disinfectant) it forms NDMA.

The solution to dealing with PPCPs can be complicated and uncertain since millions of products contribute to problem. However steps can be taken to lessen the amount of PPCPs that enters the water supplies. The first step towards addressing the issues is educating the public about the possible danger of PPCPs and correct disposal of drugs. The implementation of buyback drug program or take back program can help to alleviate the disposal of drugs down the drain. The second issue is regulation of PPCPs, the current federal regulation law Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) which list waste as hazardous if it exhibit one of these characteristic: ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity does not apply to any household waste. The Safe Drinking Water Act allows the treatment of public wells for contaminants; however pharmaceuticals PPCPs are considered unregulated contaminants and are not treated for. Lastly waste water treatment plant aren’t equipped to deal with PPCPs chemicals, and needs to updated to tackle this problems.

The problem of PPCPs isn’t going away and will continue to become more of a global issue, as climate change increases more droughts like weather and competition for scarce water resources will force the use of recycle waste water as an alternative.  The control of PPCPs from entering the ecosystem is vital to protecting the environment and our water resources.










United States Geological Survey. “Large number of public wells in U.S. have potentially harmful contamiants in source water, study finds.” Sciencedaily, 21 May 2010 Web. 20 Jun 2012

United States Geological Survey. “Manufacturing facilities release pharmaceuticals to the environment, USGS study finds.” Sciencedaily, 7 June 2010 Web. 20 Jun 2012

Kemper et al. “Quaternary Amines As Nitrosamine Precursors: A Role for consumer Products?” Environmental Science & Technology,  7 Apr.,2010; Pg.44

Michael A. Thomas, Rebecca D. Klaper. “Psychoactive Pharmaceuticals Induce fish Gene Expression Profiles Associated with Human Idiopathic Autism.” Public Library Of Science One. June 6, 2012

Scientific America. “ External Medicine: Discarded Drugs May Contaminate 40 Million Americans ‘ Drinking Water” 116 Sept.2011 Web edition.

Mozaz  Sara, Howard S.  Weinberg. “Meeting Report: Pharmaceuticals in Water – An Interdisciplinary Approach to a Public Health Challenge” Environmental Health Perspectives. Vol. 118 Number 7. Pg. 1016-1020


Who is Tim Berners-Lee

29 Nov

Tim Berners-Lee is the father of the world wide web. He created the first website on the internet. The idea of hypertext- link network to one another, creating this document linking page on the internet.  The idea of Mr. Berners really changed the way the world interacted, the way social and political and daily lives of people changed.  The fascinating thing about Mr. Berners is his ability to understand what it takes to make technology work, and how he understood that by making his www free made it easy to make it grow. I think that impress me a lot about Mr. Berners, is that he chose to give this away for free without any royalties. I’m sure if he decided too, he could’ve made a lot of money off of it, but decided to give this ultimate gift to mankind without any profit. I was really surprised by what Mr.  Berners thought about search engine and what the internet really is. In Mr. Berners word, he describe the internet is like a big social network, where people connect to one another, and that search engines, give you results based on what your peers are looking at. The concept is very revolutionary  at that time, even though it seem simple now that we have 20 years of using it. I also now understood the importance of early adopters; imagine the very first phone, or the first email. Who would you call, who would you email, without these early adopters; it could be doomed right out of the starting gate.

Mr. Berners is very accomplished, from an early age, he was able to build his own computer and terminal. This surprised me at how advance he was from an early age, making his own monitor, and slowly writing codes for his computer. I didn’t think an individual could even put together a computer at that time, much less make the parts for it. It was astonished me when he told the story of how he started out with one electronic part, than relay, transistor, then the little chip. Slowly with each advancement in electronic technology, he was able to build his computer. One thing that really hit me , was Mr. Berners interpretation of social media , that social media is some what like www but with a closed door. As one social media sites gets bigger, the smaller sites grows into absurdity and vanished.

My everyday life has been directly affected by Mr. Berners contribution, the internet has been my source of connecting to the people, the information and things I need. I used it to talk to family in other countries. I search the web to find information that I am curious to learn about. I shop online to find reviews, comparison and values. The world wide web has been amazing improvement to humanity, like the Wrights brother with the airplane, or Karl Benz with the first car. The internet has established it self as a necessity in today life, an indispensable tool of humanity.

Mr. Berners-Lee many awards:


Kilby Foundation’s “Young Innovator of the Year” Award
ACM Software Systems Award (co-recipient)
Honorary Prix Ars Electronica
Distinguished Fellow of the British Computer Society
Awarded an Order of the British Empire (OBE)
IEEE Koji Kobayashi Computers and Communications Award
Duddell Medal of the Institute of Physics
Interactive Services Association’s Distinguished Service Award
MCI Computerworld/Smithsonian Award for Leadership in Innovation
International Communication Institute’s Columbus Prize
Charles Babbage award
Mountbatten Medal of the National Electronics Council
Lord Lloyd of Kilgerran Prize from the Foundation for Science and Technology
PC Magazine Lifetime Achievement Award in Technical Excellence
MacArthur Fellowship
The Eduard Rhein Technology Award
Honorary Fellow, Institution of Electrical Engineers
Named “One of the 100 greatest minds of the century” by Time Magazine
World Technology Award for Communication Technology
Honorary Fellowship, The Society for Technical Communications
Paul Evan Peters Award of ARL, Educause and CNI
Electronic Freedom Foundation‘s Pioneer Award
George R Stibitz Computer Pioneer Award, American Computer Museum
Special Award for Outstanding Contribution of the World Television Forum
Sir Frank Whittle Medal, the Royal Academy of Engineering
Fellow,Royal Society
Member, American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Japan Prize, the Science and Technology Foundation of Japan
Prince of Asturias Foundation Prize for Scientific and Technical Research (shared with with Larry Roberts, Rob Kahn and Vint Cerf)
Fellow, Guglielmo Marconi Foundation
Albert Medal of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Art, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA)
Knighted (KBE) by H.M. the Queen for services to the global development of the Internet
Millennium Technology Prize
Special Award of the American Society for Information Science and Technology
Member, American Philosophical Society
Common Wealth Award for Distinguished Service for Mass Communications
Die Quadriga Award
Financial Times Lifetime Achievement Award
President’s Medal, the Institute of Physics
Awarded the Order of Merit by H.M. the Queen
Charles Stark Draper Prize, National Academy of Engineering
Lovelace Medal, British Computer Society
D&AD President’s Award for Innovation and Creativity
MITX (Massachusetts Innovation & Technology Exchange) Leadership Award
Foreign Associate of the National Academy of Engineering
BITC Award for Excellence
IEEE/RSE Wolfson James Clerk Maxwell Award
Fellow, IEEE
Pathfinder Award, Harvard Kennedy School of Government
Foreign Associate, National Academy of Sciences
Webby Awards Lifetime Achievement Award
UNESCO Niels Bohr Gold Medal Award
The Mikhail Gorbachev Award
DAMA Web Awards, Bilbao Web Summit
Honorary Degrees:
 Parsons School of Design, New York (D.F.A., 1995)

Southampton University (D.Sc., 1995)

Essex University (D.U., 1998)

Southern Cross University (1998)

Open University (D.U., 2000)

Columbia University (D.Law, 2001)

Oxford University (D.Sc., 2001)

University of Port Elizabeth (DSc., 2002)

Lancaster University (D.Sc., 2004)

University of Manchester (2008)

VU University Amsterdam (2009)

Harvard University (2011)

Hexidecimal Addition

21 Nov

This assignment was really challenging, the time counting down and converting to base 16 and forgetting your regular math basic. I like a good challenge but this was pretty tough, especially when your math concept has never been in hexadecimal calculation.

Bonus hexadecimal Multiplication

Information Overload

21 Nov

Information Overload


4 hours computer, working on my paper

4 hours of television

3 hours of computer game

1 radio

1 online movie

30 minutes cell phone and text

2 hour movie


3 hour mp3 player

3 hour computer

2 hour television

1 hour cell phone and texting

1 hour radio

After finishing this assignment, and looking at the end result number, I can understand why it’s called overload. It seems everywhere I go technology is constantly bombarding me, and there so much of it everywhere. it’s almost impossible not to have some kind of information being transmitted to you unless there no electronic where you are.  It a scary thought knowing your always being bombarded not just by information that is on but also from the radio waves,digital signal,and all the wireless electronic.

Information Validation

21 Nov

How would you validate the information sent to you via a text message?

I would validate the text msg against my contact number, any other phone number I would consider spam.

I wouldn’t care to check the phone number, it just  text.

How would you validate a $25.00 check in the mail?

I would go to the bank that issue the check to validate the check, I wouldn’t let my bank do the validation, bank policy for check cashing has major flaws that could leave me liable if the check bounce.

I would just cash it and let the bank do the validation.

How would you validate information about a death of a close person?

I would just take a death certificate, or seeing the dead body as evidence of the person passing.

I would just ask someone else if it’s true or not.

How would you validate information you received from an email?

I would check the email address, the time signature and ip origin of the email.

I wouldn’t check it , if I received emailed from unknown sources.

How would you validate information from a local newspaper?

I would google the news, or check the websites of the news publisher.

I would accept the news report without verifying any further.

How would you validate information from local TV NEWS?

I would read multiple other news on the internet to see whether the news on tv is accurate or along the lines of what news I am receiving. I would check multiple sources for accuracy.

Don’t watch too much local news, so I wouldn’t care much about it.

How would you validate information from a website?

I would look at the websites ip address,see if the dns name is accurate .

I wouldn’t validate the website.

How would you validate information from a billboard?

 You can validate the billboard with the advertising company that posted it.

I wouldn’t care about a billboard information, just roadside spam.

How would you validate information given to you during a class from an instructor?

You can check what the instructor has taught you from your textbook or online information regarding what was taught to you.

I would trust that the instructor is accurate and correct in teaching the material.

This assignment was interesting, the whole idea of validation in our daily lifes is very important. I think much of the activities we do, we never validate the authenticity in it. I mean if we look at all the information we receive, is it all accurate and unbias, is it truth and honesty. Even today news seem to have a certain spin, or bias. Or maybe the education that we get in school might be inaccurate, or not whole. Like for textbooks that we read in school, the books might leave out things that the book publisher or the board of education might feel offensive. Over all I like this exercise in validating things in our life, makes us more gullible and naïve. The assignment helps us protect ourselves from possible con artist or Identity theft.

Digital identities

21 Nov

Part 1. I have 10 online accounts

Part 2. Of the 10 account, 6 of them share the same password.


After completing this assignment I found out how high risk my account might be. I didn’t realize how easy I made it by having the same password for multiple accounts. This really made me aware of the danger I might be in, if anyone found out my password. I really enjoyed this assignment, it has made me change the way I protect my account from now on.

Jadeite and Nephrite Structure

21 Nov

Jadeite under a microscope.

Nephrite under microscope.