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G. Daughton (involuntarily) by excretion and bathing, and directly (purposefully) by disposal. Disposal of drugs that are no longer needed or wanted occurs by discarding to trash (which in turn usually goes to landfills) or by directly discarding to sewage systems (usually via the toilet). Although the long-accepted means of disposing to sewerage by flushing down toilets is now known to maximize the ability of a drug to enter the environment, the rationale behind this approach is to minimize the chances of consumption by others for whom the drug was not intended.

A tangentially related issue regarding sources, but one not covered here, is the fate of the packaging materials used for PPCPs, such as the materials used for plastic vials, IVs, and syringes, including the drug residues contained therein. Incineration and weathering of these materials are processes perhaps leading to a number of additional unknown products. 2 The role of source in the perception of risk The significance of the real and perceived connections between our waste products with sources of drinking water and food can be greatly amplified by the presence of drug residues—regardless of how minute—as they can profoundly impact the perception of risk.

Another approach would work only on selected drugs—those that are extensively metabolized (where little of the parent drug is excreted). The discovery of parent drug residues in sewage would then be a likely indicator of direct disposal. Also worth noting is that the private individual is the major contributor of illicit drugs to the environment. Illicit drugs have received surprisingly little attention from environmental scientists, especially given their unknown effects on aquatic biota. To date, only two publications have focused on illicit drug residues in an environmental context [24,25], but additional investigations are underway [26].

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Analysis, Fate and Removal of Pharmaceuticals in the Water Cycle [Comp Anal Chem Vol 50] by M. Petrovic, et al.,


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