Prioritising anticancer drugs for environmental monitoring and risk assessment purposes

Booker, Victoria; Halsall, Crispin; Llewellyn, Neville; Johnson, Andrew ORCID:; Williams, Richard. 2014 Prioritising anticancer drugs for environmental monitoring and risk assessment purposes. Science of the Total Environment, 473-474. 159-170.

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Anticancer drugs routinely used in chemotherapy enter wastewater through the excretion of the non-metabolised drug following administration to patients. This study considers the consumption and subsequent behaviour and occurrence of these chemicals in aquatic systems, with the aim of prioritising a selection of these drugs which are likely to persist in the environment and hence be considered for environmental screening programmes. Accurate consumption data were compiled from a hospital survey in NW England and combined with urinary excretion rates derived from clinical studies. Physical–chemical property data were compiled along with likely chemical fate and persistence during and after wastewater treatment. A shortlist of 15 chemicals (from 65) was prioritised based on their consumption, persistency and likelihood of occurrence in surface waters and supported by observational studies where possible. The ecological impact of these ‘prioritised’ chemicals is uncertain as the measured concentrations in surface waters generally fall below standard toxicity thresholds. Nonetheless, this prioritised sub-list should prove useful for developing environmental screening programmes.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 - 2012 > Water > WA Topic 2 - Ecohydrological Processes > WA - 2.1 - Identify and quantify sources, fluxes and pathways of water, chemicals ...
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Boorman (to September 2014)
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: pharmaceuticals, wastewater, fate, surface water
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 09 Jan 2014 11:14 +0 (UTC)

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