Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

  title={Pharmaceuticals in the Environment},
  author={Klaus K{\"u}mmerer},
  journal={Annual Review of Environment and Resources},
  • K. Kümmerer
  • Published 2001
  • Political Science, Biology
  • Annual Review of Environment and Resources
Pharmaceuticals are chemicals that are used because of their biological activity. They are often excreted unchanged and can reach the environment. Throughout developed countries, the pharmaceutical concentrations in the aquatic environment are in the same range (μg L−1 and below); however, it is not clear whether this holds for less-developed countries too. The health risks of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) remain poorly understood. Although there are no known short-term effects on… 

Figures and Tables from this paper

Pharmaceutical Mixtures: Still A Concern For Human And Environmental Health.
It appears that numerous gaps still exist in the current knowledge related to this field of interest, and further studies should be conducted at global level in order to ensure a more efficient monitorisation of the presence of PhACs and their metabolites into the aquatic environment and to develop new mitigation measures.
The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment due to human use--present knowledge and future challenges.
  • K. Kümmerer
  • Computer Science
    Journal of environmental management
  • 2009
Legislation Controlling the Discharge of Pharmaceuticals into the Environment
As stated in previous chapters, the earliest studies on quantification of pharmaceutical concentrations in the environment and induction of toxic effects on organisms date back to the 1990s. Since
The Fate and Effects of Human Pharmaceuticals in the Aquatic Environment
There is relatively little known about the fate of human pharmaceuticals once they are released into the aquatic environment and what adverse impacts these compounds have on exposed aquatic
Ecotoxicology of human pharmaceuticals.
Regulation of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment: The USA
It has gradually become apparent that risk assessments developed for the usual chemical contaminants cannot be applied carte blanche to pharmaceuticals, because they are developed to be highly active and specific in biological systems at low levels.
Approaches to the Development of Human Health Toxicity Values for Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients in the Environment
The results indicate that the various methods of estimating toxicity values produce highly varying doses, and an individualized approach will need to be applied to each target API.
Occurrence and Elimination of Pharmaceuticals During Conventional Wastewater Treatment
Wastewater treatment plants are still widely employed for wastewater treatment, mostly because they produce effluents that meet required quality standards (suitable for disposal or recycling purposes), at reasonable operating and maintenance costs.
Sources of Pharmaceuticals in Water
This chapter focuses on the increasing environmental apprehensions and persistence of numerous organic contaminants so-called emerging contaminants (ECs), including biologically active elements from


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment: agents of subtle change?
This review attempts to synthesize the literature on environmental origin, distribution/occurrence, and effects and to catalyze a more focused discussion in the environmental science community.
Cradle-to-cradle stewardship of drugs for minimizing their environmental disposition while promoting human health. I. Rationale for and avenues toward a green pharmacy.
  • C. Daughton
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental health perspectives
  • 2003
This article focuses initially on the background behind the imperative for an ecologically oriented stewardship program for PPCPs, and presents a broad spectrum of possible source control/reduction actions, controlled largely by the health care industry, that could minimize the disposition of P PCPs to the environment.
Promoting resistance by the emission of antibiotics from hospitals and households into effluent.
  • K. Kümmerer, A. Henninger
  • Medicine
    Clinical microbiology and infection : the official publication of the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases
  • 2003
The volume of antibiotics used in hospitals and private households and released into effluent and municipal sewage indicates a selection pressure on bacteria.
Occurrence and distribution of pharmaceutical organic compounds in the groundwater downgradient of a landfill (grindsted, denmark).
The occurrence and distribution of organic compounds originating from waste from the pharmaceutical industry in the groundwater downgradient of the same landfill is described, the first report on pharmaceutical compounds in a leachate plume.
Fate of pharmaceuticals during indirect potable reuse.
The antiepileptics carbamazepine and primidone represented the most dominant of all investigated drugs in well treated domestic effluents (nitrifying/denitrifying plants) and a high potential for biodegradation was also observed for anti-inflammatory drugs in groundwater recharge systems.
Something from “ Nothing ”-Eight Weak Estrogenic Chemicals Combined at Concentrations below NOECs Produce Significant Mixture Effects
It is concluded that estrogenic agents are able to act together to produce significant effects when combined at concentrations below their NOECs, highlighting the limitations of the traditional focus on the effects of single agents.
Algal Toxicity of Antibacterial Agents Applied in Danish Fish Farming
Applying this test procedure the toxicity of antibacterial agents, being mono- or polyprotic compounds, may be underestimated because of partitioning between ionized and unionized forms.
Aquatic toxicology.
Australia is blessed with a great diversity of unique species in its fresh waters and in the marine environment around its coast. There is evidence that human and natural events are impacting on
Primary DNA Damage But Not Mutagenicity Correlates with Ciprofloxacin Concentrations in German Hospital Wastewaters
Positive umuC results in hospital wastewater are strongly dependent on the presence of fluoroquinolone antibiotics, and previously generated Ames and V79 chromosomal aberration data were compared with the newly generated results, indicating the existence of additional mutagens that are yet to be identified.