Environmental contamination by pharmaceuticals is an emerging issue. The scientific literature suggests that pharmaceuticals are widespread contaminants, entering the environment from a myriad of scattered points. Once administered, pharmaceuticals can be excreted unmetabolised with the urine or stool and patients (in case of drugs for human use) or animals (veterinary drugs) are therefore considered the main sources of contamination. Pharmaceuticals can be prioritised according to environmental loads, predicted by multiplying sales figures by the metabolism rate. Several priority pharmaceuticals can be commonly measured in waste and surface water. Pharmaceuticals are present at very low concentrations in the aqueous environment, but active ingredients are designed to stimulate a response in humans and animals at low doses with a very specific target, making the implications for human health and the environment a matter of concern. Recent laboratory studies suggest that pharmaceutical principles, taken in combinations and concentrations close to those detected in the environment in Italy, may have ecotoxicological effects.
|Translated title of the contribution||Contamination by pharmaceuticals: The evidences|
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Ricerca e Pratica|
|Publication status||Published - Mar 2007|
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