Illinois Sustainable Technology Center - University of Illinois

Drugs Down the Drain: How can we assess and manage the impacts of medicines in the natural environment?

Presented by Alistair B A Boxall - Professor, Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York, UK.

May 3, 2016

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We will probably all use pharmaceuticals at some stage in our life. Following use, pharmaceuticals are excreted into the sewage system and can then pass through sewage treatment plants into surface waters. As pharmaceuticals are biologically active molecules, in recent years there has been increasing interest from scientists and the general public over the potential impacts of pharmaceuticals on aquatic organisms and on humans that consume drinking water containing pharmaceuticals. In this talk, I will explain how pharmaceuticals move from humans to surface waters and drinking water supplies and discuss the implications of the presence of pharmaceuticals in water bodies for ecological and human health. Solutions to minimize the impacts of pharmaceuticals on the environment will also be presented.

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