Due to the risks it poses to non-target organisms and public health, the near ubiquitous presence of pharmaceutical compounds in environmental waters  represents an emerging cause for concern. However, there have been few attempts at a quantitative assessment of the relative contributions for different sources and pathways for pharmaceutical pollution  and we have only begun to understand the multitude of factors that affect the composition, as well as the spatial and temporal distribution of pharmaceutical contamination in environmental waters . A more holistic approach is needed to develop effective management strategies that conform to the catchment-based approach, although this is complicated by the patchy nature of available monitoring data for river water and by the significant seasonal variation in concentrations which makes comparisons even within datasets tenuous.
The aim of this research is to improve our understanding of how pharmaceutical pollutants are distributed throughout river catchments and the factors determining these observed patterns. This understanding will serve to develop a network-based representation of their transport that may be used to inform more tailored management practices, ultimately helping to determine priority locations for interventions to limit the impact of pharmaceutical pollutants on river ecosystems.
Recent Conference Poster – SETAC 2023
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