Nav: Home

Today's disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern

November 12, 2015

PENSACOLA, Fla. - An increasing amount of drugs taken by humans and animals make it into our streams and waterways, and pharmaceutical pollution has had catastrophic ecosystem consequences despite low levels of concentration in the environment. The effect of pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern on the environment will be addressed in a special issue of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ET&C). Much progress has been made in the recent years on the topic and this special issue will illustrate the state of the science. Several preview articles are now available, and the complete issue will be online in spring 2016.

The first article, "Complex mixtures, complex responses: Assessing pharmaceutical mixtures using field and laboratory approaches," reports on studies monitoring multiple the life stages of fathead minnows using both simple (groups of drugs with similar modes of action) and complex (groups with diverse modes of action) mixtures of pharmaceuticals commonly found in treated wastewater effluent. The complexity of the mixtures detected, coupled with the variance of biological reactions contingent on an organism's stage of life, result in inconsistent responses to exposure - highlighting the importance of including diverse biological endpoints when assessing contaminants.

The second article, "Evaluating the extent of pharmaceuticals in United States surface waters using a national scale rivers and streams assessment survey," reports on a national survey of US surface waters, particularly those closest to urban areas. The active pharmaceutical ingredients most prevalent in the water may help prioritize research. This expansive survey alleviates the concern that pharmaceutical pollution, for example through drinking water contamination, has negative effects on human health at current concentrations. However, more work is needed to provide data elucidating the risk to aquatic organisms from ecosystem exposure.

"Landfill leachate as a mirror of today's disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern in final leachate from landfills in the conterminous United States" is the topic of the third preview article. Leachate is defined as the beginning of the liquid-waste stream emanating from a source before any storage or treatment process. Final leachate is what follows this process. To address what makes it through the treatment process, this study collected and analyzed samples from 22 landfills across 12 states looking for 190 chemicals of emerging concern (CECs), including prescription and nonprescription pharmaceuticals, steroid hormones, industrial and household chemicals, and plant or animal sterols. Final leachate samples contained 101 of the 190 (53 percent) of the chemicals sought in the analysis. Results from this study will aid in future investigations of the fate, risk and toxicity of CECs in landfill leachate.
-end-
To access all three articles, visit: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/10.1002/%28ISSN%291552-8618/earlyview

Batt AL, Kincaid T, Kostich MS, Lazorchak J, Olsen AR. 2015. Evaluating the extent of pharmaceuticals in United States surface waters using a national scale rivers and streams assessment survey. Environ Tox Chem. doi: 10.1002/etc.3161

Masoner JR, Kolpin DW, Furlong ET, Cozzarelli IM, Gray JL. 2015. Landfill leachate as a mirror of today's disposable society: Pharmaceuticals and other contaminants of emerging concern in final leachate from landfills in the conterminous United States. Environ Tox Chem. doi: 10.1002/etc.3219

Schoenfuss HL, Furlong ET, Philips PJ, Scott T, Kolpin DW, Cetkovic-Cvrlje M, Lesteberg KE, Rearick DC. 2015. Complex mixtures, complex responses: Assessing pharmaceutical mixtures using field and laboratory approaches. Environ Tox Chem. doi: 10.1002/etc.3147

Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Related Pharmaceuticals Articles:

Safety events common for pharmaceuticals and biologics after FDA approval
Among more than 200 new pharmaceuticals and biologics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration from 2001 through 2010, nearly a third were affected by a postmarket safety event such as issuance of a boxed warning or safety communication, according to a study published by JAMA.
Algal residue -- an alternative carbon resource for pharmaceuticals and polyesters
Researchers at Tokyo Institute of Technology found that algal residue, the leftover material after extracting oil from algae for biofuel, can be used to produce key industrial chemicals.
Pharmaceuticals from a coal mine?
Digging around in the dark can sometimes lead to interesting results: in the acidic waters of an abandoned coal mine in Kentucky (USA), researchers discovered ten previously unknown microbial natural products from a strain of Streptomyces.
New Rhein concludes successful investment in Chase Pharmaceuticals via sale to Allergan
New Rhein Healthcare Investors LLC ('New Rhein'), an investment firm focused on health-care therapeutics and medical devices, today announced it has successfully concluded its investment in Chase Pharmaceuticals through the sale of this portfolio company to Allergan plc.
Solid-phase extraction of ibuprofen from pharmaceuticals
The content of active ingredients in pharmaceuticals is mostly assessed by reversed-phase HPLC.
Pharmaceuticals retain potential to cause damage in aquatic environments
More sophisticated methods may be required to assess the accumulation and wider impact of human and veterinary pharmaceuticals within the aquatic environment, scientists have said following a research project led by the University of Plymouth.
Portable biological factories create pharmaceuticals
Pellets made from freeze-dried molecular components make it possible to 'just add water' to create diverse compounds without the need for refrigeration.
AGA and Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc. announce new grants for IBD researchers
Thanks to a generous grant from Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A., Inc., the AGA Research Foundation is thrilled to announce three new research grants to fund young investigators working on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) projects.
Pharmaceuticals in streams may come from multiple sources
Pharmaceuticals in surface water such as lakes and streams are a growing concern.
The ATS and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. release landmark survey
The American Thoracic Society and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Sunovion) today announced the results of a survey of pulmonologists and pulmonology fellows to determine physicians' knowledge, attitudes, and practices related to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) management, with particular attention to the use of hand-held small volume nebulizers.

Related Pharmaceuticals Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...