Pharmaceuticals may have long half-lives in the environment, so they can accumulate, reaching detectable and biologically active levels. Recent studies have demonstrated that many pharmaceuticals are incompletely eliminated at sewage treatment plants. The existence of drugs in surface waters, groundwater and even marine systems has been confirmed at concentrations of high to low level. Ecotoxicological effects, Pharmacological effects and Resistance development of micro-organisms are potential risks exposure to concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the environment but there is insufficient ecotoxicity, physicochemical and biodegradability data for most pharmaceuticals for executing a complete risk evaluation as well as influence on ecological processes in ecosystems, is lacking.
Therefore, human health risk assessment and ecotoxicological hazard evaluation must be developed. Pharmaceutical products for humans or animals, as well as their related metabolites degradation products end up in the aquatic environment after use. Recent investigations showed that low concentrations of pharmaceuticals are detectable in municipal waste water, surface water, groundwater and even drinking water. Little is known about the effects and with that the risk, of long term exposure to low concentrations of pharmaceuticals for aquatic organisms.
The presence of several pharmaceuticals in effluents was soon confirmed in The Netherlands Belfroid et al. In world wide ranges of pharmaceuticals are 12, human and 2, veterinary pharmaceuticals.
Occurrence Fate And Impact Of Atmospheric Pollutants On Environmental And Human Health
Each pharmaceutical consists of an active substance, mixed with a number of auxiliary substances to make it possible to handle and dose the pharmaceutical. From an environmental point of view, especially the active substances are of interest. The relatively recent awareness of pharmaceutical products impact on environment is reflected in literature since the s through the exponentially increasing number of studies concerning this emergent class of water pollutants. Pharmaceutically active compounds are produced and used in very large volumes and their use and diversity is increasing every year.
The majority of studies on pharmaceutical products in aquatic system concerns their analysis, occurrence and fate in wastewater and wastewater treatment plant, with an emphasis on processes efficiency with respect to their removal. As the majority of organic micropollutants, the contamination origin is above all anthropogenic and continuously released in wastewater or directly in the environment. The researches showed that pharmaceuticals were detectable in untreated and biologically treated municipal waste water, surface water and a very few also in drinking water. These findings triggered a cascade of investigations of the presence of both human and veterinary pharmaceutical products in the environment as well as the possible risks this presence may pose to humans and the environment.
Accurate assessment of pharmaceutical products PPs impact on the environment is as difficult as there is a multitude of input sources in environment with no evident quantitative data available concerning the relative distribution of PPs from all emission sources Fig. Figure 1: Origin and routes of pharmaceutical products after Petrovic et al. Pharmaceutical products are widely used in the human health sector and in the animal husbandry. These substances have been designed to be biologically active and to cause very specific effects.
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The pharmaceuticals and their metabolites are excreted via faeces and urine and end up in the aquatic environment, either by discharge after passage of a sewage water treatment plant, or by run-off from the surface, leaching via the soil or drainage to the surface water after spreading of manure on the land. The emission routes of veterinary drugs and feed additives to surface water are more complex than those of human pharmaceuticals.
The manure of animals in the stable is stored temporarily. The extent of run-off and leaching depends on climatological conditions, chemical and physical properties of the substance, type of animal and agricultural practice. Although humans and animals treated with PPs constitute the main contamination source of potable water resources surface water and ground water , PPs are qualitatively, quantitatively, spatially and temporally shared out into different routes depending on whether patients are located in private households or in hospitals and other places.
Indeed, prescribed drugs in hospitals are rather designated to treat heavier pathologies than in households. Improper disposal of unused or expired drugs, which are directly thrown in toilets or end up in landfill, and pharmaceutical residues from manufacture spill accidents Reddersen et al. Therefore, the most significant entry route for pharmaceuticals into the aquatic environment is the release from wastewater treatment works.
This is because a large proportion of medication taken by patients passes through their body unmodified and travels via urine and faeces to wastewater. Differently, direct release of veterinary pharmaceuticals in environment may occur via application in aquaculture i.
Pharmaceuticals are potentially ubiquitous pollutants because they could be found in any environment inhabited by man. Because laboratories in developing countries often do not have the required equipment, they often find it difficult to detect and measure these chemicals in their environment. The high cost of analysis is another significant barrier to routine monitoring.
Moreover, because many of the pollutants are present in ultra-low levels in the environmental samples, large number of samples must often be collected, parti-cularly from the marine environment. This means that the pollutants are also difficult to quantify. According to Scott , there are two views of the relationship between health and development, each correct but each also very different. One view is that life expectancy improves with increases in per capita income. The other is that economic growth is helped by improvements in public health.
Two examples may suffice to emphasize the importance of improvements in health to development: i the decline in mortality over the past century, and ii the contrast between the rich and poor countries. One of the greatest events of human history had a variety of causes: improvements in nutrition, public health, and personal hygiene, decontamination of foot and water, improved housing, and advances in technology.
The contrast between the rich and poor countries today is striking, but so is the contrast between the rich countries today and these same countries one-to-two centuries before. Of course, poor countries today have an advantage over the rich countries of yesterday: the availability of technologies like vaccines, antibiotics, and drugs, not to mention knowledge of the causes of disease.
But the ecological circumstances of poor countries today are very different, and as we shall see, the challenge is not just to bring the technologies developed for the rich countries to the aid of the poor. In contrast to ordinary development assistance, the supply of global public goods yields benefits both to developing and industrialized countries. If industrialized countries gain enough from a public good,they may be willing to finance its supply for their own benefit, even though doing so also aids developing countries .
It is increasingly outdated and unacceptable to think that humanity has to choose between economic growth and environmental protection. Without environmental security, economic growth is not sustainable. Advanced engineering, management concepts, and a better educated market are making it profitable to synergistically further economic growth and a healthy environment. Environmental security continues to move up on national, regional, and international agendas due to increasing scientific evidence of climate change, extreme weather events, the number and intensity of natural disasters, pollution, potentials for pandemics, and nuclear-biological-chemical threats.
The challenges confronting humanity are increasingly transnational, transdisciplinary, and transinstitutional. They cannot be fully addressed by any government or institution acting alone. They require collaborative action among governments, international organizations, corporations, universities, Non-governmental Organizations, and individuals.
Global futures research should draw on all these sources and not be too attached to any one of them. It is imperial the maintenance of the life. Cleaner Production ; 16 6 : Sus ; 10 1 In Search of Sustainable Agricultural Systems. Environ International ; 33 7 Carpenter DO. Polychlorinated Biphenyls and Human Health. Rice DA. Total Environ. Pollution ; 1 World Health Organization. Constitution of the World Health Organization. Geneva; Definitions of Environmental Health, U. Contaminant Amplification in the Environment. Halsall CJ. Pollution ; Ferreira AP. Salud ; 6 12 : Pereira MS.
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