ERA Pharm Environmental Risk Assessment of Pharmaceuticals
| Country: EU Projects
| Start Date:
Project Type: RTD
| Contract Number: SSPI-CT-2003-511135
| Organisation Type:
University research group / research institute
Diffuse pollution-->Contaminants-->Contaminants overview
Diffuse pollution-->Diffuse pollution overview
Water and sanitation-->Pollution
Water and sanitation-->Water and sanitation Overview
Water resources and their management -->Water resources and their management Overview
| Project objectives:
'The overall aim of ERAPharm is to advance existing knowledge and methods for evaluating potential risks, which human and veterinary pharmaceuticals pose
to the environment. Its specific objectives are to:
- Investigate previously unstudied major exposure routes of pharmaceuticals into the terrestrial and aquatic environment
- Investigate factors and processes affecting the fate of pharmaceuticals in soils, sediments and surface water
- Further develop testing and modelling approaches for evaluating the fate of pharmaceuticals
- Develop a scenario-based exposure assessment system for pharmaceuticals
- Explore the use of bioassays for an initial hazard screening and mode-of-action classification
- Evaluate how information on pharmacodynamics and toxicodynamics in mammals can be used to guide the evaluation of potential sublethal effects in fish
- Modify and refine test methods in order to detect the effects of long-term, low-level exposure to pharmaceuticals
- Investigate whether and to what extent environmentally relevant concentrations of pharmaceuticals cause effects in the environment
- Develop pragmatic approaches for assessing transformation products
- Provide recommendations on how to improve current European environmental risk assessment procedures for pharmaceuticals'
(Extracted from project website)
The increasing detection of a wide range of pharmaceuticals in the environment over recent years has raised concern about their potential impact on the environment.
Understanding of the fate and effects of pharmaceuticals in the environment has progressed significantly in the recent past. In the European Union, guidelines
for assessing the environmental risks of veterinary pharmaceuticals have been established, while those for human pharmaceuticals are currently discussed.
However, there are still considerable uncertainties concerning the assessment of fate and effects of pharmaceuticals that have to be addressed before risks
can be fully evaluated.
ERAPharm aims to improve the scientific basis and the methods for evaluating the potential risks that human and veterinary pharmaceuticals pose to the environment.
The effect of environmental variables on the fate of pharmaceuticals in water, sediment, soil and manure will be studied and a system for scenario-based exposure
assessment will be developed. The project will study the effects of pharmaceuticals on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates using higher-tier testing
methods. It will investigate the effects of antibiotics on microbial communities with a focus being on the induction of microbial resistance. It will also
evaluate how the assessment of sub-lethal effects in fish can be improved. Based on the results of this work, recommendations will be provided as to how current
European environmental risk assessment procedures for human and veterinary pharmaceuticals can be improved.
| Achieved Objectives:
| Product Descriptions:
| Additional Information:
| Project Resources:
| Funding Programme(s):
EC Framework Programme 6
| Link to Organisations:
Umweltbundesamt (Environmental Protection Agency)
Dr Antony Chapman
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