The widespread detection of a large variety of pharmaceuticals in the environment has raised concern about the potential impact of these bioactive substances on the environment. The overall aim of ERAPharm was to advance existing knowledge and methods for the environmental risk assessment of pharmaceuticals. Within the three years of the project, the impact of environmental variables on the fate of pharmaceuticals as well as the effects of pharmaceuticals were investigated using methods ranging from low-complexity assays to higher-tier studies and modeling approaches. Based on the results of the project, recommendations on how to improve current European environmental risk assessment procedures for human and veterinary pharmaceuticals were developed.
Within ERAPharm, ECT investigated the effects of pharmaceuticals on aquatic and terrestrial invertebrates in laboratory, semi-field and field tests with a main focus on the veterinary parasiticide ivermectin. ECT has also contributed to the case studies, complete environmental risk assessments that have been performed for ivermectin and two human pharmaceuticals, atenolol and fluoxetine. Besides the coordination of the project, ECT has also been leading the working group investigating the effects of pharmaceuticals on terrestrial organisms.
More information on the project can be obtained on the project website, where also the final activity report can be downloaded.