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A Survey of the Presence of Pharmaceutical Residues in Wastewaters. Evaluation of Their Removal using Conventional and Natural Treatment Procedures
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Selected Pharmaceuticals in Different Aquatic Compartments: Part II—Toxicity and Environmental Risk Assessment

LAQV, REQUIMTE, Laboratory of Bromatology and Pharmacognosy, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Coimbra, Polo III, Azinhaga de St Comba, 3000-548 Coimbra, Portugal
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Molecules 2020, 25(8), 1796; https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules25081796
Received: 12 March 2020 / Revised: 3 April 2020 / Accepted: 8 April 2020 / Published: 14 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Pharmaceutical Residues in the Environment)
Potential risks associated with releases of human pharmaceuticals into the environment have become an increasingly important issue in environmental health. This concern has been driven by the widespread detection of pharmaceuticals in all aquatic compartments. Therefore, 22 pharmaceuticals, 6 metabolites and transformation products, belonging to 7 therapeutic groups, were selected to perform a review on their toxicity and environmental risk assessment (ERA) in different aquatic compartments, important issues to tackle the water framework directive (WFD). The toxicity data collected reported, with the exception of anxiolytics, at least one toxicity value for concentrations below 1 µg L−1. The results obtained for the ERA revealed risk quotients (RQs) higher than 1 in all the aquatic bodies and for the three trophic levels, algae, invertebrates and fish, posing ecotoxicological pressure in all of these compartments. The therapeutic groups with higher RQs were hormones, antiepileptics, anti-inflammatories and antibiotics. Unsurprisingly, RQs values were highest in wastewaters, however, less contaminated water bodies such as groundwaters still presented maximum values up to 91,150 regarding 17α-ethinylestradiol in fish. Overall, these results present an important input for setting prioritizing measures and sustainable strategies, minimizing their impact in the aquatic environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental contaminants; pharmaceuticals; pharmaceuticals toxicity; environmental risk assessment; aquatic compartments environmental contaminants; pharmaceuticals; pharmaceuticals toxicity; environmental risk assessment; aquatic compartments
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Pereira, A.; Silva, L.; Laranjeiro, C.; Lino, C.; Pena, A. Selected Pharmaceuticals in Different Aquatic Compartments: Part II—Toxicity and Environmental Risk Assessment. Molecules 2020, 25, 1796.

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