Defining the state of knowledge on persistent pharmaceuticals in the environment (SAICM)

Pillen, Arzneimittel, Medikamente, Trinkwasser, Wasser

Pharmaceuticals are known to occur widely in the aquatic environment of industrialized countries. In developing and emerging countries, information on the occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment has become more readily available in recent years. However, a concise picture on the relevant pharmaceutical, their prevailing concentrations in the environment, and their potential effects on human and ecosystem health is still elusive in these countries.

The International Society of Doctors for the Environment has suggested the topic “Environmentally Persistent Pharmaceutical Pollutants” (EPPP) for nomination as an emerging issue under the Strategic Approach on International Chemicals Management (SAICM) of the United Nation Environmental Programme (UNEP).

adelphi conducts this project jointly with IWW Water Centre: The Federal Environment Agency (UBA) is being consulted in its preparatory activities for a global plan of action on the treatment of persistent pharmaceuticals in the environment.

As the basis for further considerations and more concrete discussions, the goal of the current project is to clearly define the state of knowledge on the global relevance of pharmaceuticals in the environment.

The main tasks of the project are thus to

  • compile Measured Environmental Concentrations (MEC) of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals from all five UN regional groups,
  • compare regional consumption data and future trends,
  • assess the relevance of different emission pathways (production, use, disposal),
  • assess the role of infrastructure, population, pharmaceutical availability, agricultural practice, etc. on the emissions of pharmaceuticals into the environment,
  • provide databases and maps that could illustrate the global relevance of pharmaceuticals in the environment as an emerging issue, and
  • prepare possible activities for inclusion into the global plan for action.
  • Publications of this project

    • Fármacos en el medio ambiente – la perspectiva global – Incidencia, efectos y acción c ooperativa potencial bajo el SAICM

      Weber, Frank; Tim aus der Beek, Axel Bergmann, Alexander Carius, Gregor Grüttner, Silke Hickmann, Ina Ebert, Arne Hein, Anette Küster, Johanna Rose, Juliane Koch-Jugl y Hans-Christian Stolzenberg 2014: Fármacos en el medio ambiente – la perspectiva global. Incidencia, efectos y acción c ooperativa potencial bajo el SAICM. Muelheim an der Ruhr: IWW (SPANISH VERSION).
    • Les produits pharmaceutiques dans l’environnement – perspective à l’échelle mondiale – Présence, effets, et action concertée potentielle au titre de la SAICM

      Weber, Frank; Tim aus der Beek, Axel Bergmann, Alexander Carius, Gregor Grüttner, Silke Hickmann, Ina Ebert, Arne Hein, Anette Küster, Johanna Rose, Juliane Koch-Jugl et Hans-Christian Stolzenberg 2014: Les produits pharmaceutiques dans l’environnement – perspective à l’échelle mondiale. Présence, effets, et action concertée potentielle au titre de la SAICM. Muelheim an der Ruhr: IWW (FRENCH VERSION).
    • Pharmaceuticals in the environment - the global perspective – Occurrence, effects, and potential cooperative action under SAICM

      Weber, Frank; Tim aus der Beek, Axel Bergmann, Alexander Carius, Gregor Grüttner, Silke Hickmann, Ina Ebert, Arne Hein, Anette Küster, Johanna Rose, Juliane Koch-Jugl and Hans-Christian Stolzenberg 2014: Pharmaceuticals in the environment - the global perspective. Occurrence, effects, and potential cooperative action under SAICM. Muelheim an der Ruhr: IWW (CHINESE VERSION).
    • Pharmaceuticals in the environment - the global perspective – Occurrence, effects, and potential cooperative action under SAICM

      Weber, Frank; Tim aus der Beek, Axel Bergmann, Alexander Carius, Gregor Grüttner, Silke Hickmann, Ina Ebert, Arne Hein, Anette Küster, Johanna Rose, Juliane Koch-Jugl and Hans-Christian Stolzenberg 2014: Pharmaceuticals in the environment - the global perspective. Occurrence, effects, and potential cooperative action under SAICM. Muelheim an der Ruhr: IWW (ENGLISH VERSION).