ESPP has submitted comments to the EU public consultation on pharmaceuticals in the environment. ESPP underlines the importance of developing better knowledge concerning presence of pharmaceuticals in sewage biosolids and manures, fate and impact on soils and for agriculture, and removal of pharmaceuticals in sewage and manure treatments (e.g. sewage works, anaerobic digestion, composting). Among these topics there are important questions to maintaining recycling of sewage biosolids and manures to agriculture (safety, farmer and public confidence).

The European Commission has published a proposed ‘roadmap’ for a ‘Strategic approach to pharmaceuticals in the environment’, open for public comment to 26th May 2017. The three page document specifies the relevant EU regulatory framework, in particular pharmacovigilance, and proposes to address particularly pharmaceuticals in water but also pharmaceuticals in soil as specified by pharmacovigilance. The Commission estimates that EU pharmaceutical consumption doubled from 1990 to 2000 and doubled again from 2000 to 2012. The ‘roadmap’ proposes as main objectives to identify knowledge gaps and solution to fill these, and to protect the environment whilst safeguarding access to effective and appropriate pharmaceutical treatments for humans and animals. Uncertainty about levels of pharmaceuticals in the environment and need for risk assessment are underlined. 

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