Drug residues can harm the environment and the healthy bacteria in our bodies.
sources of exposure
Pharmaceuticals are present in the environment and thus enter the aquatic environment, are ingested by wildlife and can therefore have adverse effects on ecosystems. Humans ingest them through drinking water, drug residues or food.
The concentrations and effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment depend on a combination of several variables, including the toxicity, degradation, persistence and mobility properties of the drug, the source and timing of contamination, the technology, operation and efficiency of sewage treatment plants , agricultural and veterinary practices, and environmental and exposure history.
Environmental exposure to pharmaceuticals is expected to increase in the future. The use of medicines will increase for the following reasons:
- The population is aging and life expectancy is increasing;
- Economies are growing so that age-related and chronic diseases can be treated earlier;
- Animal husbandry and aquaculture are intensified, new medicines are developed;
- Climate change is making existing diseases worse. diseases such as cardiovascular disease and mental illness) as well as respiratory, waterborne, vectorborne and foodborne toxins and infections may increase.
Effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment on human health and freshwater ecosystems
Drug residues can harm the environment and human and animal health, e.g. B. through
- Negative impacts on ecosystems, including mortality and changes in physiology, behavior and reproduction.
- Disturbance of the human hormonal balance
- The most likely risk associated with antibiotic residues in drinking water is the promotion of the emergence and selection of resistant commensal bacteria that inhabit the human body, particularly the intestinal flora.
The presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment has alarmed drinking water regulators, governments, water utilities and the public.
Certain drugs can have undesirable negative impacts on ecosystems. These include mortality and changes in physiology, behavior and reproduction. Of particular concern are hormones, antibiotics, analgesics, antidepressants and anticancer drugs, as well as antibiotics and antiparasitics used in veterinary medicine.
This allows the fish to change their behavior and become more vulnerable to predators. The following summarizes the effects of pharmaceuticals on human and ecosystem health.
In addition, the substances in the environment are not isolated, but occur mixed and in combination with other pollutants. Drugs in combination with toxins are particularly dangerous.