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ABSTRACT: In this paper, we investigate the applicability of experimental model ecosystems (microcosms and mesocosms) for the ecological risk assessment of veterinary medicinal products (VMPs). VMPs are used in large quantities, but the assessment of associated risks to the environment is limited, although they are continually infused into the environment via a number of routes. It is argued that the experience obtained by pesticide research largely can be used when evaluating VMPs, although there are several major differences between pesticides and pharmaceuticals (e.g., knowledge of their mechanisms of action on nontarget organisms). Also, because microorganisms are often the target organisms of VMPs, risk assessment should focus more on endpoints describing functional processes. This paper provides a review of the current risk assessment schemes of Europe and North America along with examples of experiments already performed with veterinary medicinal products in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystem models. We suggest that some of the approaches developed for pesticide risk assessment can be used for VMPs and offer suggestions for the development of a framework for ecological risk assessment of VMPs.
Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry 05/2005; 24(4):820-9. DOI:10.1897/04-268R.1 · 3.23 Impact Factor