Pharmaceutical compounds are recognized as important emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment. The remarkable worldwide increase of medicine discovery and production has been a significant benefit to modern societies. However, the ubiquitous occurrence of such compounds in natural ecosystems due to wastewater discharge poses risks that may require additional treatment or behavioural changes in the general population to reduce disposal of these agents. There is an urgent need for knowledge and methods/tools that can reliably assess the potential risk posed to biota in receiving surface waters through the discharging of pharmaceuticals.
The PHARMASEA project will show the distribution, effects and risks of discharged pharmaceuticals in four European coastal areas, targeting marine food webs, bioaccumulation and characterization of modes-of-action in marine species.
Since the communication and connection with industries, private and public stakeholders as well as citizen engagement are very important, The PHARMASEA project will promote public awareness, pre-normative research and implementation of European Directives. The project results are expected to influence prescribing and disposal practices of domestic medicines in Europe and increase market opportunities and competitiveness of European pharma industries investing in environmental sustainability of their products.
Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) have been recognized as important contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems. The remarkable worldwide increase of medicines has represented one of the greatest benefits to modern societies, but it has also been paralleled by the ubiquitous occurrence of such compounds in natural ecosystems. APIs are considered emerging contaminants of prime environmental concern. Population aging combined with improvements in health standards especially in developing countries triggered a rapid growth of the global pharmaceutical market over the past two decades, and future projections indicate that this increment will continue in the next years.
PHARMASEA integrates international expertise to answer key research questions on fate and biological effects of APIs. The project will allow in-depth studies on APIs distribution, effects and risks in four European coastal areas, targeting (1) occurrence, uptake and trophic transfer along regional marine food webs; (2) bioaccumulation/excretion kinetics, potential ecotoxicological effects from molecular to individual levels, and characterization of modes-of-action in model and selected marine species; (3) development of specific risk assessment procedures for APIs.
The communication and connection with industries, private and public stakeholders as well as citizen engagement are important aims to promote public awareness, pre-normative research and implementation into European Directives. The project is expected to have a major impact enhancing the scientific knowledge and awareness on interactions between human and environmental health. The results could influence prescribing and disposal practices of domestic medicines and increase market opportunities and competitiveness of European pharma industries investing on environmental sustainability of their products.