chapter  12
16 Pages

An Assessment of the Concentrations of Pharmaceutical Compounds in Wastewater Treatment Plants on the Island of Gran Canaria (Spain)

Many modern pollution problems are a result of the intermittent or continuous release of chemical substances into the environment. Their presence is one of the main emerging issues that the organisations committed to public and environmental health have to address (Hernando et al. 2006a). Pharmaceutical compounds within this group of pollutants have raised increasing concerns over the last two decades because their effects on the environment are unknown. Thousands of tons of pharmaceuticals are used every year, in both human and veterinary medicine, and are released to the environment through metabolic excretion and improper disposal techniques. These compounds are not completely degraded at the wastewater treatment plants, and many of them are discharged into the environment through many sources and pathways (Wick et al. 2009).