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Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2011 Nov;214(6):437-41. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2011.06.003. Epub 2011 Aug 31.

Drug residues and endocrine disruptors in drinking water: risk for humans?

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Ecole des Mines d'Alès, 6 avenue de Clavières, 30319 Alès Cedex, France.


The presence of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors in the environment raises many questions about risk to the environment and human health. Environmental exposure has been largely studied, providing to date a realistic picture of the degree of contamination of the environment by pharmaceuticals and hormones. Conversely, little information is available regarding human exposure. NSAIDS, carbamazepine, iodinated contrast media, β-blockers, antibiotics have been detected in drinking water, mostly in the range of ng/L. it is questioned if such concentrations may affect human health. Currently, no consensus among the scientific community exists on what risk, if any, pharmaceuticals and endocrine disruptors pose to human health. Future European research will focus, on one hand, on genotoxic and cytotoxic anti-cancer drugs and, on the other hand, on the induction of genetic resistance by antibiotics. This review does not aim to give a comprehensive overview of human health risk of drug residues and endocrine disruptors in drinking water but rather highlight important topics of discussion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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