Pharmaceuticals in the environment

Pharmaceuticals in the environment

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Pharmaceuticals in the environment

With the introduction of LC-MSMS technology into environmental analysis in the 1990s, scientists increasingly report drug findings in surface waters. The mostly polar substances could be measured directly after enrichment from the water phase without complex derivatization. According to the Federal Environment Agency, more than 150 pharmaceuticals have been detected to date. Human pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicines enter the water bodies via the sewage treatment plants and the application of liquid manure on agricultural land.

The toxicological effects on the aquatic ecosystem are largely unknown. According to previous studies, pharmaceuticals do not accumulate in fish and sediments to the extent known from endocrine disruptors or POPs (persistent organic pollutants). However, data from long-term studies are missing.

GALAB has been carrying out environmental studies on pharmaceuticals in water, sediment and biota (fish) on behalf of the environmental authorities of the Länder since the beginning of 2000. The range of pharmaceutical substances comprises more than 80 individual substances, including

  • Analgesika (Diclofenac, Ibuprofen, Ketoprofen)
  • Antibiotics (Tetracyclin, Chinolone, Imidazole, Sulfonamide, Cephalosporin
  • Hormons (Ethinylestradiol, Nortestosteron, Estradiol, Estriol, Simvastatin,.)
  • others (Warfarin, Ranitidin)
STEFFEN, D.; WUNSCH, H.; KäMMEREIT, M.; MEYER, L. (2009): Biota-Monitoring in niedersächsischen Gewässern – Untersuchung von Fischen auf Pflanzenschutzmittel. Hrsg.: Niedersächsischer Landesbetrieb für Wasserwirtschaft, Küsten- und Naturschutz, Oberirdische Gewässer Band 30, 20 Seiten Service


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