Pharmaceuticals in the Environment


The Journal focuses on effects, fate, green pharmacy, occurrence, risk, sustainable pharmacy.Pharmaceuticalsarechemicalsthatareusedbecauseoftheirbiological activity.Theyareoftenexcretedunchangedandcanreachtheenvironment. Throughout developed countries, the pharmaceutical concentrations in the aquatic environment are in the same range (μgL −1 and below); however, it is not clear whether this holds for less-developed countries too. The health risks of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs)remainpoorlyunderstood.Althoughtherearenoknownshorttermeffectsonhumans,long-termeffectscannotberuledoutuntilthere is more research. The significance of metabolites and transformation productsresultingfromtheparentAPIsisnotyetknown.Awarenessof thepresenceofpharmaceuticalsintheenvironment,coupledwithsome evidence of effects, suggests that precautionary management action to reduce the release of pharmaceuticals to the environment should be considered. As for effluent treatment, no technology works well for all compounds. Advanced effluent treatment is not sustainable because of energy consumption, efficiency, and efficacy. Therefore, its appropriatenessmustbeassessedonacase-by-casebasis.Increasedhandlingand use measures at the source and better biodegradable pharmaceuticals are necessary in the long run for the new paradigm called “sustainable pharmacy.”

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