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A high‐resolution spatial model to predict exposure to pharmaceuticals in European surface waters – ePiE

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JournalEnvironmental science & technology
DateAccepted/In press - 10 Oct 2018
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 10 Oct 2018
Volume52
Number of pages10
Pages (from-to)12494-12503
Early online date10/10/18
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Environmental risk assessment of pharmaceuticals requires the determination of their environmental exposure concentrations. Existing exposure modelling approaches are often computationally demanding, require extensive data collection and processing efforts, have a limited spatial resolution, and have undergone limited evaluation against monitoring data. Here, we present ePiE (exposure to Pharmaceuticals in the Environment), a spatially explicit model calculating concentrations of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in surface waters across Europe at ~1 km resolution. ePiE strikes a balance between generating data on exposure at high spatial resolution while having limited computational and data requirements. Comparison of model predictions with measured concentrations of a diverse set of 35 APIs in the river Ouse (UK) and Rhine basins (North West Europe), showed around 95% were within an order of magnitude. Improved predictions were obtained for the river Ouse basin (95% within a factor of 6; 55% within a factor of 2), where reliable consumption data were available and the monitoring study design was coherent with the model outputs. Application of ePiE in a prioritisation exercise for the Ouse basin identified metformin, gabapentin, and acetaminophen as priority when based on predicted exposure concentrations. After incorporation of toxic potency, this changed to desvenlafaxine, loratadine and hydrocodone.

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© 2018 American Chemical Society. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details.

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