SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  9 May 2013
Volume 14 Issue 5

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Environmental Exposure and Effects of Pharmaceuticals and Veterinary Medicines

Ross Brown, AstraZeneca, Alistair Boxall, University of York, Gerd Maack, UBA, Jeanne Garric, IRSTEA

Over the past 10–15 years, a significant amount of work has been done by the scientific, regulatory and business communities to assess the potential impact of pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicines on the environment and public health. The session "Environmental Exposure and Effects of Pharmaceuticals and Veterinary Medicines" will be held on Monday, 13 May, at the SETAC Europe 23rd Annual Meeting in Glasgow, Scotland. It will include a review of current progress in understanding and predicting the environmental exposure, bioavailability and adverse effects on ecological and human health of pharmaceuticals and veterinary medicines in different compartments, e.g., surface water, groundwater, sediment and soils. Key underlying themes include:

  • Targeting risk assessments and identifying potential impacts or priority compounds based on data extrapolation (i.e., read across)
  • Simulation of realistic (including long-term, low-level) exposure scenarios
  • Measurement of relevant and reliable effects endpoints linked to adverse outcomes
  • The role of the environment in the development of antibiotic resistance
  • The role of transformation products and metabolites

All platform presentations will be held in room Lamond at the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre. Posters and poster corner presentations can be found in the Exhibit Hall.

Morning session I–marine and estuarine segment: Platform presentations include targeted risk assessment (Bachmann) supported by evaluation of the occurrence and transformation of pharmaceuticals discharged to the Gironde estuary (Aminot) and hydrodynamic modelling to improve exposure predictions (Fenet), assessment of impacts on marine and estuarine organisms, including wild and aquaculture species in Europe (Bueno) and Asia (Rico), and more general, long-term assessments of marine ecosystem health in the Irish Sea (Quinn).

Morning session II–freshwater segment: Platform presentations include the influence of the sewage effluent matrix on pharmaceutical uptake in fish (Gunnarsson), bioaccumulation of hydrophobic versus ionic compounds compared in freshwater food chains (Zenker), impacts of industrial discharges on wild fish (Sanchez). Simulated whole lake exposures to synthetic oestrogen EE2 (Vanrolleghem) and oestrogen/anti-androgen mixtures (Green) are also presented, along with more targeted approaches to risk assessment of chiral compounds (Kasprzyk-Hordern).

Afternoon session III–terrestrial segment: Platform presentations include the fate and transport of antimicrobial resistance via manure application to land (Joy), impacts on microbial diversity (Topp) and the influence of soil structure on these impacts (Reichel). Evidence of the generation of non-extractable pharmaceutical residues in biogenic material originating from soil microflora will be presented (Nowak), along with the effects of pharmaceuticals on other soil biota, including terrestrial plants (Simon) and earthworms (Carter).

At the poster corner, which will be held from 17:20 - 18:30 in the Exhibit Hall, presentations discuss the fate of pharmaceuticals in aquifers in Spain (Corada), uptake of pharmaceuticals in freshwater invertebrates (Jeon) and wider food chains (Berglund), predicting and measuring adverse effects of antidepressants (Sweet) and the NSAID diclofenac (Hartmann) in fish in laboratory tests, monitoring effects of wastewater discharges in Nigeria (Udebuani), ecosystem recovery in a whole lake experiment dosed with the synthetic oestrogen EE2 (Kidd), and implementing the process of eco-pharmacovigilance to support post-launch product stewardship (Robinson).

The main poster display, which will be held all day in the Exhibit Hall, also contains a range of presentations covering each of the session themes.

Authors’ contact information:,,,

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