Medicines released into the environment may be a risk to living species in the long term. Jeanne Garric’s ecotoxicology team at Cemagref Lyon has shown that certain molecules disrupt reproduction, embryo development and growth of representative organisms in aquatic environments. Toxicity tests have been conducted in the laboratory on Daphnia, Rotifera and zebra fish under standard protocols. Active pharmaceuticals ingredients (APIs) concentrations in the environment however are found to be 1000 to 100,000 times too low to cause acute toxicity.
Cemagref scientists have tested a dozen of the most widely used APIs in France and Europe, covering a wide spectrum of molecular diversity. The research was carried out as part of the European Rempharmawater research programme and French Enimed programme under the PNETOX national ecotoxicology programme funded by the environment ministry.
In France and Europe as a whole, most drugs swallowed end up in rivers after passing through a wastewater treatment station. Any drug not entirely broken down will reach surface waters. For this reason degradability and biodegradability in STP and receiving ecosystem is one of the important key parameters to understand for the risk assessment of such APIs.. But even in small amounts, a drug, may have toxic effects. Very low concentrations of the some b-blockers, in surface waters may affect invertebrate reproduction.
Jeanne Garric | alfa
Value from wastewater
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A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.
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