Pharmaceuticals released from senior residences: occurrence and risk evaluation

Abstract : One of the main pursuits, yet most difficult, in monitoring studies is to identify the sources of environmental pollution. In this study, we have identified health-care facilities from south European countries as an important source of pharmaceuticals in the environment. We have estimated that compounds consumed in by the elderly and released from effluents of senior residences can reach river waters at a concentration higher than 0.01 μg/L, which is the European Medicines Agency (EMA) threshold for risk evaluation of pharmaceuticals in surface waters. This study has been based on five health institutions in Portugal, Spain, and France, with 52 to 130 beds. We have compiled the pharmaceuticals dispensed on a daily base and calculated the consumption rates. From 54.9 to 1801 g of pharmaceuticals are consumed daily, with laxatives, analgesics, antiepileptics, antibiotics, and antidiabetic agents being the main drug families administered. According to excretion rates, dilution in the sewerage system, and elimination in wastewater treatment plants, macrogol, metformin, paracetamol, acetylcysteine, amoxicillin, and gabapentin, among others, are expected to reach river waters. Finally, we discuss the risk management actions related to the discharge of pharmaceuticals from senior residences to surface waters.
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Silvia Lacorte, Silvia Luís, Cristian Gómez-Canela, Teresa Sala-Comorera, Audrey Courtier, et al.. Pharmaceuticals released from senior residences: occurrence and risk evaluation. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, Springer Verlag, 2018, 25 (7), pp.6095-6106. ⟨10.1007/s11356-017-9755-1⟩. ⟨hal-01770538⟩

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