A blog post from the Metropolitan Planning Council:

About 200 reports are now released annually about low levels of chemicals, such as drugs, detergents and plastics, in our waterways.  As products, these compounds are beneficial (I am grateful that my office mates use soap.) Some of them, like heart meds, are even life-saving.  The problem begins once we are done using them — when they are flushed (one way or another) down the toilet or swept away in stormwater, and flow into our streams and lakes.  Because, especially in areas like the Fox River Basin, that is also our drinking water.  We know that some of these chemicals, at certain levels, can disrupt our endocrine system, causing a host of health problems, ranging from infertility to cancer.  But, is there enough in our water to make us sick?
To try to answer that, on Sept. 15th, Openlands and MPC held “Emerging Contaminants, Emerging Solutions,” our latest roundtable on the region’s water challenges (listen to the audio recording, courtesy of Chicago Amplified). Almost 80 people from through the region convened in Elgin to hear about known (and unknown) risks, and possible methods to prevent or reduce contamination.  The audience had the opportunity to ask national experts about cutting-edge scientific findings on the issue. Read more.