Pharmaceutical Pollution

Why in News?

  • Recently, Pharmaceutical Pollution is an overlooked but urgent issue that needs coordinated action from across the pharmaceutical, healthcare and environmental sectors.


  • Pharmaceutical plants are often incapable of filtering out all the chemical compounds used in their manufacturing process and as such, the chemicals will seep into the surrounding freshwater systems and eventually into the oceans, lakes, streams, and rivers.
  • Wastewater from pharmaceutical manufacturers is also sometimes discharged into open fields and nearby water bodies, thereby increasing the pharmaceutical waste or their by-product load in the environment, landfills, or dumping areas. All this is basically known as pharmaceutical pollution.
  • Investment in public education on the proper disposal of drugs should be done as part of the drug take-back programs
  • Tougher Regulations to limit large-scale medicine flushing in hospitals, nursing homes and other healthcare institutions.
  • Additional research is desperately required to assess the potential human effects of pharmaceutical pollution.
  • Limiting bulk purchases will ensure only the required amount is supplied and therefore,b
  • Proper trashing must be preferred over flushing as it leads to them being incinerated or buried in landfills.
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