Cytotoxic Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
a Department of Biochemical Sciences, Faculty of Pharmacy, Charles University, Hradec Králové, b Laboratory of Plant Biotechnologies, Joint Laboratory of the Institute of Experimental Botany, Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic and Research Institute of Crop Production, Prague
An increasing concern about contamination of the environment with pharmaceutical residues and their metabolites appeared recently. The contaminants get into hospital or municipal wastewater in considerable amounts, which may cause an adverse effect on the environment. Cytotoxic pharmaceuticals are considered to be genotoxic, mutagenic, carcinogenic, teratogenic and embryotoxic. Although the total amount of administered cytotoxic pharmaceuticals is much lower than that of analgesics or antibiotics, enhanced attention to this issue is reasonable due to their potential significant effect on the environment. The aim of this review is to resume the problems of occurrence, fate and ecotoxicological effects of cytotoxic drugs in the environment including the efficiency of removing these compounds. Basic characteristics of cytotoxic agents are included in the review.
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