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The Life-Cycle of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment

  • Encompasses the full lifecycle of common pharmaceuticals, from prescription and dispensing practices to their occurrence in a range of different types of natural waters and their environmental impact
  • Explores the role of the healthcare system and its affect on users
  • Beneficial for environmental engineers involved in the design and operation of appropriate degradation technologies of the pharmaceutical prescription and disposal practices

Series: Woodhead Publishing Series in BIomedicine

By: Barrie M Peake(Author), Rhiannon Braund(Author), Alfred Tong(Author), Louis Tremblay(Author)

Woodhead Publishing

Hardback | Sep 2014 | #231843 | ISBN-13: 9781907568251
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks Details
NHBS Price: £125.00 $161/€137 approx

About this book

The Life-Cycle of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment identifies pathways of entry of pharmaceuticals into the environment, beginning with the role of global prescribing and disposal practices. The book then discusses typical levels of common pharmaceuticals and how they can be determined in natural waters such as raw and treated sewage, and in potable water. In addition, sections examine methods currently available to degrade pharmaceuticals in natural waters and some of their ecotoxicological impacts, along with future considerations and the growing concept of product stewardship.


    1: Introduction
        1.1 Overview: Do pharmaceuticals pose a significant environmental risk?
        1.2 Hazardous substances
        1.3 Pathways to the environment: Life-cycle of pharmaceuticals
        1.4 Conclusions
    2: Prescribing practices
        2.1 Pharmaceuticals in legislative and healthcare systems
        2.2 The role of patient medical adherence
        2.3 Strategies to minimize medication nonadherence
        2.4 “Doctor, it just doesn’t work!”—Pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, and pharmaceutical waste
        2.5 “How much are those antibiotics? I want ’em!”
        2.6 Accumulation of unused medications
        2.7 Strategies to prevent accumulation of unused pharmaceuticals
    3: Disposal of unused medications
        3.1 Overview
        3.2 The origins of unused medication
        3.3 Medication disposal by households
        3.4 Attitudes toward medication disposal
        3.5 Feasibility of take-back programmes for unused medication
        3.6 Management of pharmaceutical waste at take-back depots
        3.7 The “best” method for the disposal of unused medications?
        3.8 Conclusions
    4: Detection and presence of pharmaceuticals in the environment
        4.1 Overview
        4.2 Environmental detection of pharmaceuticals
        4.3 Sample collection
        4.4 Sample extraction
        4.5 Chromatographic separation of environmental sample extracts
        4.6 Mass spectrometric detection and quantitation
        4.7 Environmental concentrations of some common pharmaceuticals
        4.8 Summary
    5: Impact of pharmaceuticals on the environment
        5.1 Overview
        5.2 Environmental risk assessment methodologies
        5.3 Experimental variables involved in risk assessment
        5.4 Ecotoxicology
        5.5 Mixture toxicity
        5.6 Case study: Paracetamol (acetaminophen) in the environment
        5.7 Case study: Fluoxetine in the environment
        5.8 Case study: Diclofenac in the environment
        5.9 Summary
    6: Degradation of pharmaceuticals in wastewater
        6.1 Basic steps in wastewater treatment
        6.2 Removal and degradation of selected human pharmaceuticals
        6.3 Effect of the natural organic matrix on pharmaceutical removal and degradation in wastewater
        6.4 Summary and conclusions
    7: Regulatory practices to control the discharge of pharmaceuticals into the environment
        7.1 Overview
        7.2 The United States of America and Canada
        7.3 European Union (EU)
        7.4 China and other parts of Asia
        7.5 Australia
        7.6 New Zealand
        7.7 Challenges and conclusions
    8: Green chemistry, green pharmacy, and life-cycle assessments
        8.1 Green chemistry and green pharmacy
        8.2 Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA)
        8.3 Summary
    9: Summary and Conclusions
        9.1 The potential environmental risk of pharmaceuticals?
        9.2 Some possible future considerations

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Barrie M. Peake is an Associate Professor of Environmental Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Otago, Dunedin New Zealand. Dr Rhiannon Braund is an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Alfred Tong is a doctoral graduate from the School of Pharmacy and the Department of Chemistry, at the University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand. Dr Louis Tremblay is an ecotoxicologist at the Cawthron Institute , Nelson, New Zealand and a Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand.

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