John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


An assessment of the environment and health risks of drug residues in water: a guide for management decisions Volume 17, supplement 1, April 2018


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1 Équipe contaminants émergents, UMR 5569 « hydrosciences de Montpellier »
Université de montpellier
Faculté de pharmacie
15, avenue Ch.-Flahault
34093 Montpellier cedex 05
2 Groupe santé-environnement, UMR 8079
Université Paris-Sud, Université Paris-Saclay
Faculté de pharmacie
CNRS, AgroParisTech
5, rue Jean-Baptiste-Clément
92290 Châtenay-Malabry
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: water, risk assessment, environment, health, pharmaceuticals
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2017.1101
  • Page(s) : 29-39
  • Published in: 2018

Residues, metabolites, and degradation products of a wide variety of substances used in human and veterinary medicine are detected in water. Their combination with other pollutants and the diversity of their biological effects make environmental and public health risk assessment complex. The procedure for market access of a new medicinal product includes an assessment of its environmental risks, based on a preliminary calculation of the ratio of predicted concentrations in the environment to the toxicity threshold values. The French Agency for Food, Environmental, and Occupational Health & Safety (Anses) has published protocols to characterize health risks based on the availability of the necessary data on the toxicity and behavior of the substance in water. While the levels of environmental risk are gradually being demonstrated, the health approach still requires further study and easier access to existing data on metabolism and low-dose toxicity with chronic exposure.