Geneesmiddelen in de watercyclus
Open

Stand van zaken
23-01-2013
Jan Peter van der Hoek, Jacques van Alphen, Reinoutje Kaas en Ron van der Oost

The presence of medications in the water cycle

Conflict of interest: none declared. Financial support: none declared.

  • Medications and radiographic contrast dyes are sometimes detected in surface waters, ground water and drinking water; these have proven detrimental effects on organisms living in such waters.

  • The concentration of medications found in drinking water is at least a thousand times below their minimum therapeutic dosages.

  • In humans, the long-term effects of daily exposure to low dosages of medications and 'mixture toxicity' is not known; based on the concentrations and substance toxicity, it is presumed that the risk is nil..

  • Physicians can play their part in controlling the problem of medications becoming part of the water cycle by taking this into account when prescribing medications.

  • Users can make a difference by handling their medications with care and by returning all unused portions to the pharmacy.

  • The pharmaceutical industry can also do its part by taking degradability, options for removal and the environmental effects of medications into account during their stages of development.