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Current Issues in Pharmaceutical Residues in Drinking Water

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 3 ]


Magda Caban, Anna Bialk-Bielinska, Piotr Stepnowski and Jolanta Kumirska   Pages 249 - 257 ( 9 )


The presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water has been a subject of concern for the last ten years because many of these pollutants are persistent in such aquatic matrices. Latest studies have shown that they can pose a ecotoxicological risk due to their potential long-term negative effects on living organism, even though the relatively low concentrations of these compounds in drinking water (ng/L). For this reason, several researchers have been investigating the roles of various drinking water treatment (DWT) processes in the efficiency of these polar pollutants elimination to decrease their release into the drinking water system. What more, from several years the monitoring programs and advance risk assessment are being carried out in order to gives important information for indicators finding (for future monitoring) and consequential regulations. This study critically reviews available literature on pharmaceutical residues in drinking water, starting from their occurrence, fate and finally toxicology significance. Presented review is also presenting the issue of pharmaceuticals detection and products occurred after drinking water treatment. Moreover, it is also intended to provide an proposition into what future directions might be taken by drinking-water regulators, governments, and water suppliers in their challenging task of enhancing the availability of data on the fate, behavior, and ecotoxicity of pharmaceutical residues in drinking water, in order to be fully aware of the potential risks to humans from exposure to traces of pharmaceuticals via drinking water.


Drinking water, legislation, pharmaceutical residues, risk assessment, trace analysis.


Department of Analytical Chemistry, Faculty of Chemistry, University of Gdansk, ul. Wita Stwosza 63, Gdansk, Poland.

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