Occurrence, sources, and fate of pharmaceuticals in aquatic environment and soil

Environ Pollut. 2014 Apr:187:193-201. doi: 10.1016/j.envpol.2014.01.015. Epub 2014 Feb 9.


With the rapid economic development, a better living condition leads to longer life expectancy, which increased the total population, in particular the elderly group. It may result in increase in the demand of pharmaceuticals for people in domestic use or in hospital. Although most sewage treatment plants or waste water treatment plantsmet the regulatory requirement, there are still many pharmaceuticals removed incompletely and thus discharged to the environment. Therefore, the pharmaceuticals residue draws the public concern because they might cause adverse effects on the organism even human beings. Recently, many studies have published on the source and occurrence as well as the fate of pharmaceuticals all over the world. This paper summarized and reviewed the recent studies on the sources, occurrence, fate and the effects of the most common pharmaceuticals. Finally, it gave the suggestion and risk management for controlling the pharmaceuticals.

Keywords: Emerging organic contaminants; Pharmaceutical residuals; Pollution; Waste water treatment plants.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / analysis*
  • Soil / chemistry*
  • Soil Pollutants / analysis*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Pollution, Chemical / statistics & numerical data
  • Water Purification / statistics & numerical data


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Soil
  • Soil Pollutants
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical