Science Inventory

Chemicals from the Practice of Healthcare: Challenges and Unknowns Posed by Residues in the Environment

Citation:

DAUGHTON, C. G. Chemicals from the Practice of Healthcare: Challenges and Unknowns Posed by Residues in the Environment. ENVIRONMENTAL TOXICOLOGY AND CHEMISTRY. Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, Pensacola, FL, 28(12):2490-2494, (2009).

Impact/Purpose:

The study of pharmaceuticals in the environment (PiE) has proved challenging over the course of the last 15-20 years of international research. While the published scientific literature has grown to thousands of papers - targeted at deciphering the shape, scale, intensity, and spatiotemporal aspects of the environmental footprint - many aspects of PiE remain obscured in the shadows. Given the possible reality of continually diminishing resources for research, a concerted effort is needed for identifying those select aspects of the environmental shadow capable of revealing the most about the significance of PiE and in better coordinating and focusing future research.

Description:

Medications have unique signatures - real and metaphorical fingerprints, footprints, and shadows. Signatures imparted by manufacturers use distinctive combinations of shapes, colors, and imprints. These serve as rough first tests to aid in visually identifying the types and quantities of active ingredients (except for counterfeits). While these obvious attributes are quickly destroyed once a medication is consumed or discarded to sewers, in reality each medication also leaves footprints in the environment - formed by traces of their unique active (and inactive) ingredients. Although many of these footprints have been revealed by environmental scientists, others persist in the shadows. Many avenues could be pursued in illuminating the unknowns, but how do we decide on the most efficient route?

URLs/Downloads:

DAUGHTON 09-033 FINAL JOURNAL ET&C LETTER 09-138 - DAUGHTON REVISED (29MAY09).PDF   (PDF,NA pp, 219 KB,  about PDF)

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 08/14/2009
Record Last Revised: 11/24/2009
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 205507

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL EXPOSURE RESEARCH LABORATORY

ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES DIVISION

ENVIRONMENTAL CHEMISTRY BRANCH