Pharmaceuticals may disrupt the natural chemical information flows and species interactions in aquatic systems: ideas and perspectives on a hidden global change

E. van Donk, S. Peacor, K. Grosser, Lisette De Senerpont Domis, M. Lurling

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Abstract

Over the last decades, anthropogenic activities have discharged into the environment many manmade chemicals. There is a rising concern regarding pharmaceutical products and their spread into the environment (e.g. Kümmerer 2008). Due to the enormous quantities consumed, anti-inflammatories, antibiotics, anti-depressives, hormones and blood lipid regulators are found in almost all aquatic environments (Kolpin et al. 2002; Loos et al. 2009). Most pharmaceuticals tend to enter the aquatic environment continuously (but see Sacher et al. 2008 for seasonal exception) in contrast to other pollutants such as herbicides and insecticides which are applied only at specific times related to the life cycle of the target organism, or in response to observed pest outbreaks (Rosi-Marshall and Royer 2012). Pharmaceuticals are designed to be biologically active at very low concentrations and end up in surface waters either unchanged, or as active metabolites/polar conjugates, mostly via municipal wastewater and agricultural discharges (Boxall et al. 2012).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology
Subtitle of host publicationContinuation of Residue Reviews
EditorsPim de Voogt
PublisherSpringer
Pages91-105
Number of pages15
Volume238
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-319-30791-6
ISBN (Print)978-3-319-30790-9
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Publication series

NameReviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology

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    van Donk, E., Peacor, S., Grosser, K., De Senerpont Domis, L., & Lurling, M. (2016). Pharmaceuticals may disrupt the natural chemical information flows and species interactions in aquatic systems: ideas and perspectives on a hidden global change. In P. de Voogt (Ed.), Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology: Continuation of Residue Reviews (Vol. 238, pp. 91-105). (Reviews of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/398_2015_5002