OECD report launch: "Pharmaceutical Residues in Freshwater: Hazards and Policy"
Pharmaceuticals are essential for human and animal health. However, increasingly they are recognised as a contaminant of emerging concern to environmental and human health when their residues enter freshwater systems. For example: psychiatric drugs alter fish behaviour; endocrine disrupting pharmaceuticals can cause reproduction toxicity in fish and increased risk of breast or prostate cancer in humans; and the overuse of antibiotics is linked to antimicrobial resistance – a global health crisis. Unless action is taken, the situation is set to worsen with growing use of pharmaceuticals projected with economic growth, ageing populations, advances in healthcare, and increased livestock and fish production.