Pharmaceuticals in Northern Environments; What, Where and How Much?

image of Pharmaceuticals in Northern Environments; What, Where and How Much?

The present study has investigated and collected sales statistics of pharmaceuticals in Sweden, Norway and Iceland. A literature review of waste water treatment plants (WWTP) and the efficiency of different WWTP techniques was conducted and combined with a literature review of metabolization of pharmaceuticals in humans. These data have been linked and used for calculations of the amount of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites that actually reaches the aquatic recipient. A future recommendation is to include metabolites of pharmaceuticals in environmental impact studies to be able to assess and account for the chemicals that actually pass through a WWTP to the aquatic environment. No large differences regarding pharmaceuticals used were observed, and many were common in both Sweden, Iceland and Norway.




We thank Guðrún Kr. Guðfinnsdóttir from the Directorate of Health, Iceland for providing data from the Medicines Registry. Íris Þórarinsdóttir and Hlöðver Stefán Þorgeirsson from Veitur Utilities PLC for providing information on wastewater treatment in Iceland. Rúnar Guðlaugsson from the Icelandic Medicines Agency for providing information on over the counter drug sales and Susanne Vävare from Government of Åland for contributing with data from Åland regarding WWTPs and pharmaceuticals.We also acknowledge the Swedish and Norwegian Medicines Agencies for providing relevant statistics.


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