Article

International Scientists' Priorities for Research on Pharmaceutical and Personal Care Products in the Environment

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Abstract

Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are widely discharged into the environment via diverse pathways. The effects of PPCPs in the environment have potentially important human and ecosystem health implications, so credible, salient, and legitimate scientific evidence is needed to inform regulatory and policy responses that address potential risks. A recent big questions exercise with participants largely from North America identified 22 important research questions around the risks of PPCP in the environment that would help address the most pressing knowledge gaps over the next decade. To expand that analysis, we developed a survey that was completed by 535 environmental scientists from 57 countries, of whom 49% identified environmental or analytical chemistry as their primary disciplinary background. They ranked the 22 original research questions and submitted 171 additional candidate research questions they felt were also of high priority. Of the original questions, the 3 perceived to be of highest importance related to: 1) the effects of long-term exposure to low concentrations of PPCP mixtures on nontarget organisms, 2) effluent treatment methods that can reduce the effects of PPCPs in the environment while not increasing the toxicity of whole effluents, and 3) the assessment of the environmental risks of metabolites and environmental transformation products of PPCPs. A question regarding the role of cultural perspectives in PPCP risk assessment was ranked as the lowest priority. There were significant differences in research orientation between scientists who completed English and Chinese language versions of the survey. We found that the Chinese respondents were strongly orientated to issues of managing risk profiles, effluent treatment, residue bioavailability, and regional assessment. Among English language respondents, further differences in research orientation were associated with respondents' level of consistency when ranking the survey's 15 comparisons. There was increasing emphasis on the role of various other stressors relative to PPCPs and on risk prioritization as internal decision making consistency increased. Respondents' consistency in their ranking choices was significantly and positively correlated with SETAC membership, authors' number of publications, and longer survey completion times. Our research highlighted international scientists' research priorities and should help inform decisions about the type of hazard and risk-based research needed to best inform decisions regarding PPCPs in the environment. Disciplinary training of a scientist or engineer appears to strongly influence preferences for research priorities to understand PPCPs in the environment. Selection of participants and the depth and breadth of research prioritization efforts thus have potential effects on the outcomes of research prioritization exercises. Further elucidation of how patterns of research priority vary between academic and government scientists and between scientists and other government and stakeholders would be useful in the future and provide information that helps focus scientific effort on socially relevant challenges relating to PPCPs in the environment. It also suggests the potential for future collaborative research between industry, government, and academia on environmental contaminants beyond PPCPs. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2014;10:576-587. (c) 2014 SETAC Key Points To help fill a gap between the data generated by scientists and information required by society, we surveyed 535 environmental scientists from 57 different countries regarding their research priorities relating to PPCPs in the environment. Each survey respondent ranked 22 research questions, drawn from Boxall et al.'s recent question identification exercise, that could provide scientific evidence needed to inform regulatory and policy responses that address potential risks arising from PPCPs in the environment The single most important research question for respondents, in aggregate, related to the effects of long-term exposure to low concentrations of PPCP mixtures on nontarget organisms, but the aggregate ranking masked significant heterogeneity in research orientation among respondents Our results, which identified research priorities among active scientists, should help inform decisions about the type of research needed to best inform decisions regarding PPCPs in the environment and could assist funding agencies to prioritize resource allocation.

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... Yet socially relevant transformative science is achievable when efforts are based on credible science, salient policy, and aligned with societal significance . Towards this goal, research prioritization efforts using a key research question have identified priority science and policy research needs in conservation biology ) and agriculture (Pretty et al. 2010), as well as for specific classes of chemical contaminants (Boxall et al. 2012;Rudd et al. 2014) and global ocean systems (Rudd 2014). Horizon scanning employs a systematic methodology for collecting information and examining current and emerging issues or conditions to support decision-making and strategic approaches for effectively responding to a changing environment (Sutherland and Woodroof 2009). ...
... Here we begin to address this critical gap through an unprecedented initiative entitled Understanding Needs, Challenges, Opportunities, Vision and Emerging Roles in Environmental Health (UNCOVER-EH), which was recently launched by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), National Environmental Health Association (NEHA), and Baylor University (Gerding et al. 2017). We expanded our previous experience with horizon scanning (Boxall et al. 2012;Rudd et al. 2014;Furley et al. 2018;Van den Brink et al. 2018;Fairbrother et al. 2019;Gaw et al. 2019) to directly engage EH professionals working in state, tribal, local, and territorial health departments in the United States. ...
Article
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Background: Environmental health (EH) professionals, one of the largest segments of the public health workforce, are responsible for delivery of essential environmental public health services. The challenges facing these professionals and research needs to improve EH practice are not fully understood, but 26% of EH professionals working in health departments of the United States plan to retire in 5 y, while only 6% of public health students are currently pursuing EH concentrations. Objectives: A groundbreaking initiative was recently launched to understand EH practice in health departments of the United States. This commentary article aims to identify priority EH practice challenges and related research needs for health departments. Methods: A horizon scanning approach was conducted in which challenges facing EH professionals were provided by 1,736 respondents working at health departments who responded to a web-based survey fielded in November 2017. Thematic analyses of the responses and determining the frequency at which respondents reported specific issues and opportunities identified primary EH topic areas. These topic areas and related issues informed focus group discussions at an in-person workshop held in Anaheim, California. The purpose of the in-person workshop was to engage each of the topic areas and issues, through facilitated focus groups, leading to the formation of four to five related problem statements for each EH topic. Discussion: EH professionals are strategically positioned to diagnose, intervene, and prevent public health threats. Focus group engagement resulted in 29 priority problem statements partitioned among 6 EH topic areas: a) drinking water quality, b) wastewater management, c) healthy homes, d) food safety, e) vectors and public health pests, and f) emerging issues. This commentary article identifies priority challenges and related research needs to catalyze effective delivery of essential environmental public health services for common EH program areas in health departments. An unprecedented initiative to revitalize EH practice with timely and strategic recommendations for student and professional training, nontraditional partnerships, and basic and translational research activities is recommended. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP5161.
... Diverse scientific and engineering, social science and humanities disciplines have engaged this topic with efforts ranging from education programs, the arts, analytical methodologies, environmental fate and exposure pathways, ecological and human health toxicology studies, and interventions ranging from chemical substitutions and drug take back programs to green chemistry and development of innovative engineering technologies. Buoyed by recognition of antimicrobial resistance as a leading global public health threat and recent global key question exercises (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014), ongoing efforts continue to pursue these subjects, and further aim to develop mechanistic understanding of bioaccumulation dynamics and toxicity pathways to prioritize attributes of chemicals for advanced research, innovation and management (Brooks and Steele, 2018). ...
... Further, global megatrends associated with urbanization and the food-energy-water nexus will only become more pronounced, and thus require integrated environment and health approaches. As noted above, some key questions have emerged to understand risks of pharmaceuticals in urban ecosystems (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). This horizon scanning approach (Brooks et al., 2013) has been extended to identify diverse research needs of relevance to specific geographic regions (Furley et al., 2018). ...
Article
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Pharmaceuticals are routinely reported in the environment, which indicates an increasingly urban water cycle and highlights a global megatrend. Physicochemical properties and intrinsic biological activity of medicines routinely differ from conventional organic contaminants; thus, diverging applicability domains often challenge environmental chemistry and toxicology computational tools and biological assays originally developed to address historical chemical stressors. Because pharmacology and toxicology information is more readily available for these contaminants of emerging concern than other chemicals in the environment, and many drug targets are conserved across species, leveraging mammalian drug discovery, safety testing and clinical pharmacology information appears useful to define environmental risks and to design less hazardous industrial chemicals. Research is needed to advance biological read across, which promises to reduce uncertainties during chemical assessment aimed at protecting public health and the environment. Whereas such comparative information has been critical to advance an understanding of pharmaceutical hazards and risks in urban ecosystems, studies of medicines with fish and other ecotoxicological models are reciprocally benefiting basic and translational efforts, advancing comparative mechanistic toxicology, and providing robust comparative bridges for integrating conservation and toxicology.
... Effluent influenced urban ecosystems can represent worst-case scenarios for potential accumulation and effects of APIs and other consumer chemicals in surface waters [8,16]. Thus, identifying conditions where APIs pose higher risks to aquatic wildlife and understanding the bioaccumulation potential, exposure pathways, and trophic transfer of APIs in ecosystems was recently identified as major research needs to define ecological risks [13,17,18] and ensure sustainable environmental management and ecosystem services [13,19,20]. ...
... Samples from East Canyon Creek were collected during spring (4-7 May), summer (17)(18)(19)(20)(21), and fall (27-31 October) of 2014. Sampling dates encompassed high flow conditions from snow melt (spring) and lower flow semi-arid conditions later in the year (summer and fall). ...
Article
Bioaccumulation of pharmaceuticals in aquatic organisms is increasingly reported in the peer-reviewed literature. However, seasonal instream dynamics including occurrence and bioaccumulation across trophic positions are rarely studied, particularly in semiarid streams with flows influenced by seasonal snowmelt and municipal effluent discharges. Thus, we selected East Canyon Creek in Park City, Utah, USA to examine spatio-temporal bioaccumulation of select ionizable pharmaceuticals across trophic positions using trophic magnification factors calculated at incremental distances (0.15, 1.4, 13 miles) downstream from a municipal effluent discharge during spring (May), Summer (August), and fall (October). Nine target analytes were detected in all species during all sampling events. Trophic dilution was consistently observed for amitriptyline, caffeine, diphenhydramine, diltiazem, fluoxetine, and sertraline, regardless of seasonal instream flows or distance from effluent discharge. Calculated TMFs ranged from 0.01-0.71 with negative slopes observed for all regressions of chemical residue in tissue and trophic position. We further presents the first empirical investigation of normalizing pharmaceutical concentrations to lipid, phospholipid or protein fractions using pair matched fish samples. Empirical results identify that normalization of ionizable pharmaceutical residues in aquatic tissues to neutral lipids, polar lipids, or the total protein fraction is inappropriate, though bioaccumulation studies examining influences of internal partitioning (e.g., plasma proteins) are needed.
... However, understanding risks of pharmaceuticals in the environment was recently reported as a priority research need for environmental quality in Latin America. 4 Identifying hotspots, or regions of elevated environmental contamination, for pharmaceuticals 5,6 and other contaminants 7 have further been identified as key research questions during international horizon scanning efforts. For example, municipal effluent dominated and dependent systems, which are surface waters with the majority of instream flows from water reclamation or raw sewage discharges, often represent worse case scenarios for exposure to pharmaceuticals, consumer chemicals and endogenous compounds in developed countries. ...
... 18 It is therefore important to note that ABR development and antibiotic residues in the environment have been identified as priority questions to understand environmental risks of pharmaceuticals. 5,6 The World Health Organization has identified the fluoroquinolone class of antibiotics, including ciprofloxacin, as critically important antibiotics for management of ABR microorganisms. 19 Ciprofloxacin, which targets both gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria in human and veterinary medicine, 20 is often used as a drug of last resort for severe bacterial infections and is thus one of the most important antibiotics. ...
Article
Rapid urbanization represents a global megatrend that is resulting in an increasingly urban water cycle frequently contaminated by human medicines and other chemicals. Concentration of chemical consumption is occurring faster than implementation of environmental health systems and interventions, particularly in megacities of developing countries, while 80% of global sewage production remains untreated. In these urban areas, antibiotics in the environment influence development of antibiotic resistance (ABR) by pathogens. Here, we examined the occurrence of ciprofloxacin, designated a critically important antibiotic by the World Health Organization, in fresh surface water, groundwater, saltwater, treated municipal effluent, raw municipal sewage, treated hospital effluent, and raw hospital sewage around the world. We examined 260 articles reporting ciprofloxacin in these water matrices, including 111 studies from Europe, 105 from Asia, and 32 from North America. Only five and seven studies were identified from South America and Africa, respectively. Probabilistic hazard assessments were then performed to identify probabilities of exceedances of reported ABR and ecotoxicological predicted no effect concentrations (PNEC) for ciprofloxacin in water. Remarkably, across all geographic regions, 58% of municipal effluents exceeded the ABR PNEC (100 ng/L) for ciprofloxacin, whereas ecotoxicity PNEC (1200 ng/L) was exceeded 16% of the time. In surface water, 25% reported concentrations exceeded the ABR PNEC with 31% and 29% in Europe and North America, respectively, compared to 67% exceedance identified for Africa. Such observations highlight the importance of global scanning assessments to identify matrices and regions, including areas strategically advancing water reuse, for additional study and to prioritize locations for interventions aimed at reducing ABR development.
... Although significant technological improvements in wastewater treatment facilities have improved the quality of discharged effluent, many of these chemicals still persist in effluent, and as a result, they are introduced into surface waters of effluent-receiving watersheds (Daughton and Ternes, 1999;Kolpin et al., 2002;Luo et al., 2014). While these chemicals are detected at low concentrations (ng/L to μg/L range) in receiving waters, their reported impact on non-target species has been significant (Boxall et al., 2012;Cleuvers, 2004Cleuvers, , 2003Galus et al., 2013;Rudd et al., 2014). These chemicals are now being referred to as chemicals or contaminants of emerging concern (CECs). ...
... WWTP effluents provide a unique system of multiple stressors as they consist of a complex mixture of chemicals. As a result of this complexity, it is essential to understand how the metabolic physiology and other sublethal endpoints of fish can be affected (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). ...
Article
The objective of this study was to assess the effects of municipal wastewater treatment plant effluent on the energetics and stress response of rainbow darter (Etheostoma caeruleum). Male and female rainbow darter were collected upstream and downstream of the Waterloo WWTP in the Grand River watershed, ON, Canada. To assess the effects of wastewater treatment plant effluent on whole-body and tissue specific metabolic capacity, closed-chamber respirometry and muscle-enzyme activity analyses were performed. Plasma cortisol was also collected from fish before and after an acute air-exposure stressor to evaluate the cortisol stress response in fish exposed to additional stressors. Male and female rainbow darter collected downstream of the effluent had higher oxygen consumption rates, while differences in enzyme activities were primarily associated with sex rather than collection site. No impairment in the cortisol stress response between downstream and upstream fish was observed, however baseline cortisol levels in female fish from the downstream site were significantly higher compared to other baseline groups. Stress-induced cortisol levels were also higher in female fish from both sites when compared to their male counterparts. Overall, this study demonstrates that chronic exposure to WWTP effluent impacts whole-body metabolic performance. This study was also able to demonstrate that sex-differences are a key determinant of various metabolic changes in response to physiological stress, thereby, providing a novel avenue to be considered and further explored.
... As urbanizing aquatic systems are increasingly influenced by WWTP effluent discharges and untreated sewage, understanding environmental hazards and risks of chronic low dose CCB exposures to non-target organisms is necessary for effective water management (Ankley et al., 2007;Brooks et al., 2006). For example, understanding differential hazards and risks of specific pharmaceuticals across geographic regions has recently been reported and emphasized as a critical research need (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). In the present study, we performed a novel global scanning assessment for CCBs in the environment. ...
... These studies used standard model organisms and endpoints with crustaceans, algae, and in vitro assays to support CA modeling, while few studies have characterized the alternative sub-lethal effects (e.g., therapeutic) of these pharmaceutical mixtures. Clearly future research should assess pharmacological sub-lethal endpoints corresponding to therapeutic and side effect mechanisms and modes of action (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). ...
Article
As an urban water cycle is increasingly realized, aquatic systems are influenced by sewage and wastewater effluent discharges of variable quality. Such urbanization results in exposures of non-target aquatic organisms to medicines and other contaminants. In the present study, we performed a unique global hazard assessment of calcium channel blockers (CCB) in multiple environmental matrices. Effluent and freshwater observations were primarily from North America (62% and 76%, respectively) and Europe (21% and 10%, respectively) with limited-to-no information from rapidly urbanizing regions of developing countries in Asia-Pacific, South America, and Africa. Only 9% and 18% of occurrence data were from influent sewage and marine systems, though developing countries routinely discharge poorly treated wastewater to heavily populated coastal regions. Probabilistic environmental exposure distribution (EED) 5th and 95th percentiles for all CCBs were 1.5 and 309.1 ng/L in influent, 5.0 and 448.7 ng/L for effluent, 1.3 and 202.3 ng/L in freshwater, and 0.17 and 12.9 ng/L in saltwater, respectively. Unfortunately, global hazards and risks of CCBs to non-target organisms remain poorly understood, particularly for sublethal exposures. Thus, therapeutic hazard values (THV) were calculated and employed during probabilistic hazard assessments with EEDs when sufficient data was available. Amlodipine and verapamil in effluents and freshwater systems exceeded THVs 28% of the time, highlighting the need to understand ecological consequences of these CCBs. This global scanning approach demonstrated the utility of global assessments to identify specific CCBs, chemical mixtures with common mechanisms of action, and geographic locations for which environmental assessment efforts appear warranted.
... Unlike battery, battery, paper, aluminum, tires, glass, electronics, oil and other waste that can be recycled, the PPCPs have been a global concern because of their potential contamination when disposed of improperly. The effects of PPCPs on human health and the environment are not well understood (Rudd 2014). ...
... Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) are widely released into the environment through various routes. The effects of PPCPs in the environment have potentially important implications for human health and ecosystems (Rudd, 2014). Therefore, it is considered important to draw attention to the problem of disposal of pharmaceuticals, since the self-employed or cooperative pickers handle this type of waste in their daily work. ...
Article
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Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP) are widely released into the environment through various routes. The effects of PPCPs in the environment have potentially important implications for human health and ecosystems (Rudd, 2014).Therefore, it is considered important to draw attention to the problem of disposal of pharmaceuticals, since the self-employed or cooperative pickers handle this type of waste in their daily work. After a week of collection, samples were separated 376 in cooperation pharmaceutical residues, divided in classes: 119 antibiotics (31.65%), antihypertensives 43 (11.44%), antiinflammatory 145 (38.56%), hormones 19 (5.05%), psychotropics 1 (0.27%) and vitamin 49 (13.03%). It identified great expression of pharmaceuticals belonging to the class of antibiotics and discarded improperly antiinflammatory pharmaceuticals (representing more than 50%) in the cooperative, which, if ingested, can cause health risk to collectors who make up this cooperative. The desire was to demonstrate sustainable solutions to improve the management of pharmaceutical waste marketed by drugstores, clinics and especially, get to the pharmaceutical industry by reducing the costs presented by the waste of these pharmaceutical residues with sustainable implementations of concrete and innovative actions such as the use of technology to reduce these pharmaceutical residues.
... In the last 2 decades, active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) in the environment have emerged as contaminants of concern (Daughton and Ternes, 1999). Understanding risks of APIs to wildlife has more recently been identified as a priority research need (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). Unfortunately, studies of pharmaceutical occurrence and bioaccumulation in estuarine and marine systems are relatively limited compared to freshwater systems . ...
... The study of bioconcentration and bioaccumulation of ionizable chemicals across environmentally relevant pH gradients, including the pharmaceuticals examined in the present study, is considered a major research need (Rudd et al., 2014;Boxall et al., 2012). Previous efforts identified trophic dilution, not trophic magnification, for ionizable pharmaceuticals in urban freshwater (Du et al., 2014b) and estuarine systems . ...
Article
Exposure of wildlife to Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs) is likely to occur but studies of risk are limited. One exposure pathway that has received attention is trophic transfer of APIs in a water-fish-osprey food chain. Samples of water, fish plasma and osprey plasma were collected from Delaware River and Bay, and analyzed for 21 APIs. Only 2 of 21 analytes exceeded method detection limits in osprey plasma (acetaminophen and diclofenac) with plasma levels typically 2-3 orders of magnitude below human therapeutic concentrations (HTC). We built upon a screening level model used to predict osprey exposure to APIs in Chesapeake Bay and evaluated whether exposure levels could have been predicted in Delaware Bay had we just measured concentrations in water or fish. Use of surface water and BCFs did not predict API concentrations in fish well, likely due to fish movement patterns, and partitioning and bioaccumulation uncertainties associated with these ionizable chemicals. Input of highest measured API concentration in fish plasma combined with pharmacokinetic data accurately predicted that diclofenac and acetaminophen would be the APIs most likely detected in osprey plasma. For the majority of APIs modeled, levels were not predicted to exceed 1 ng/mL or method detection limits in osprey plasma. Based on the target analytes examined, there is little evidence that APIs represent a significant risk to ospreys nesting in Delaware Bay. If an API is present in fish orders of magnitude below HTC, sampling of fish-eating birds is unlikely to be necessary. However, several human pharmaceuticals accumulated in fish plasma within a recommended safety factor for HTC. It is now important to expand the scope of diet-based API exposure modeling to include alternative exposure pathways (e.g., uptake from landfills, dumps and wastewater treatment plants) and geographic locations (developing countries) where API contamination of the environment may represent greater risk.
... As part of its Strategic Planning exercise, the EC has committed to two important decisions concerning investment in the Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH). First, it will continue with its Framework Programme 8's (Horizon 2020, 2014-2020 commitment of 'mainstreaming' SSH across all of its work programmes. This specifically means that SSH should be regarded as a cross-cutting priority that should really be tangibly featuring in every project, regardless of its original SSH grounding (Kania et al., 2019). ...
... This 'question selection' approach has been used to identify emerging issues (and research foci) in, among others, research on: ecology and conservation (Sutherland et al., 2019), global agriculture (Pretty et al., 2010), UK food system (Ingram et al., 2013), influence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in the environment (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014), and water . Policymakers have also realised the importance of Horizon Scanning exercises that focus attention on knowledge gaps and emerging priorities. ...
Technical Report
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The purpose of this report is to present our systematic approach to producing four policy- relevant Horizon Scans. Horizon Scanning is a type of Foresight method used to bring together new disciplines and expertise in new ways, to undertake systematic and usually fairly comprehensive evaluations of emerging trends, issues, priorities, etc. Our four policy-focussed Horizon Scans will each detail the top 100 energy-related Social Sciences and Humanities (energy-SSH) research questions that the energy-SSH communities themselves believe need more funding in the EU’s forthcoming Horizon Europe programme (2021-2027). Our recommendations will be submitted to the European Commission’s (EC) Directorate-General for Research and Innovation (DG RTD), specifically to both the Ecological and Social Transitions (C5) and the Clean Energy Transition (D1) units.
... Briefly, the 340 questions collected from horizon scanning were initially binned into broad topic areas. Subsequently, an expert panel (coauthors) completed a series of best-worst scaling comparisons (e.g., Rudd et al. [18]) for each topic area, thus allowing the development of each expert's rankordered list of candidate questions for each topic. The rankings facilitated the quick identification of issues that experts uniformly viewed as relatively important (or unimportant). ...
Article
Our ability to conduct whole-organism toxicity tests to understand chemical safety has been outpaced by the synthesis of new chemicals for a wide variety of commercial applications. As a result, scientists and risk assessors are turning to mechanistically based studies to increase efficiencies in chemical risk assessment and making greater use of in vitro and in silico methods to evaluate potential environmental and human health hazards. In this context, the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework has gained traction in regulatory science because it offers an efficient and effective means for capturing available knowledge describing the linkage between mechanistic data and the apical toxicity end points required for regulatory assessments. A number of international activities have focused on AOP development and various applications to regulatory decision-making. These initiatives have prompted dialogue between research scientists and regulatory communities to consider how best to use the AOP framework. Although expert-facilitated discussions and AOP development have been critical in moving the science of AOPs forward, it was recognized that a survey of the broader scientific and regulatory communities would aid in identifying current limitations while guiding future initiatives for the AOP framework. To that end, a global horizon scanning exercise was conducted to solicit questions concerning the challenges or limitations that must be addressed to realize the full potential of the AOP framework in research and regulatory decision-making. The questions received fell into several broad topical areas: AOP networks, quantitative AOPs, collaboration on and communication of AOP knowledge, AOP discovery and development, chemical and cross-species extrapolation, exposure/toxicokinetics considerations, and AOP applications. Expert ranking was then used to prioritize questions for each category, where 4 broad themes emerged that could help inform and guide future AOP research and regulatory initiatives. In addition, frequently asked questions were identified and addressed by experts in the field. Answers to frequently asked questions will aid in addressing common misperceptions and will allow for clarification of AOP topics. The need for this type of clarification was highlighted with surprising frequency by our question submitters, indicating that improvements are needed in communicating the AOP framework among the scientific and regulatory communities. Overall, horizon scanning engaged the global scientific community to help identify key questions surrounding the AOP framework and guide the direction of future initiatives. Environ Toxicol Chem 2017;36:1411–1421.
... A recent survey, with participants specially from North America, identified 22 important research questions around the environmental risks of PPCP that would help address the most pressing knowledge gaps over the next decade. It also suggests the potential for future collaborative research between industry, government, and the academy on environmental contaminants beyond PPCPs (Rudd 2014). A study pointing to a possible risk of contamination by metals from the recycling process was done in the city of Porto Alegre, among children whose parents were waste collectors. ...
Article
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In this work, we discussed the disposal of organic materials and pharmaceuticals, so that it can influence and pollute the soil and the workers involved with waste recycling. According to resolution No. 306 of 7 December 2004, of the National Health Surveillance Agency of Brazil, and the resolution of the National Environment Council-CONAMA No. 358, of 29 April 2005 (Brazil 2005), chemical residues are those chemicals that may present a risk to the health of the population or the environment, depending on their characteristics of flammability, corrosivity, reactivity and toxicity. For example, medicinal products with expired or unexpired dates, hormones, antimicrobials, cytostatic, anti-neoplastic, immunosuppressants, digitalis, immuno-modulators, anti-retroviral or the residues of these products are considered to be a potential risk to health and the environment. A comparison between the different locations of the three Brazilian recycling cooperatives showed only small fluctuation among the values to being very close in all cooperatives. In the office, in the wake and in the press, the values related to the Cooperation were much greater when compared to the other cooperatives. This may be related to the cooperative’s location plan, as their environments are very close to one another.
... Responses such as development, reproduction and up-or down-regulation of genes have been observed in organisms exposed to PhACs (Boxall et al., 2012). An investigation completed by 535 environmental scientists from 57 countries on the most pressing knowledge gaps around the risk of PhACs in the environment showed that the effects of long-term exposure to low concentrations of PhACs mixture on nontarget organisms were ranked as one of the most priority researches (Rudd et al., 2014). However, environmental risks from PhACs are still often assessed substance-by-substance, neglecting possible interaction effects triggered by mixtures, which may underestimate the actual impacts of the PhACs in the environment. ...
... Though WWTPs and OSSFs are major sources of anthropogenic waste in coastal systems, the occurrence and extent of APIs in marine and estuarine systems is poorly understood (Schaider et al., 2017;Du et al., 2016;Maruya et al., 2012;Brooks et al., 2009;Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). In rapidly urbanizing watersheds, in stream flows are increasingly reliant on WWTP effluent discharges (Brooks et al., 2006). ...
Article
In the rapidly urbanizing watersheds and estuaries flowing to the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, USA, instream flows are increasingly influenced by point source and nonpoint source discharges. Spatial and temporal tidal influences on water quality, especially for contaminants of emerging concern (CECs), is poorly understood in estuaries and coastal systems. We selected Dickinson Bayou, an urban estuary in Galveston County, Texas, for study because it has historically impaired water quality, receives point source discharge from one major wastewater treatment plant (WWTP), while also being influenced by high densities of onsite sewage facilities upstream in the watershed. We explored the occurrence and potential hazards of aquatic contaminants, including nutrients, indicator bacteria for pathogens, and CECs, in relation to this point source discharge, across seasons and at high and low tides. Aquatic contaminants and associated hazards varied significantly in relation to the WWTP discharge, and were influenced by onsite systems. In fact, spatiotemporal water quality varied by class of contaminants (e.g., nutrients, indicator bacteria, CECs), which indicates that traditional surface water monitoring activities should account for such environmental complexity. This study provides a diagnostic approach for future studies of emerging water quality challenges across gradients of rapidly urbanizing coastal bays and estuaries.
... Consumers express interest in selecting products that are safer for the environment (Whan, 2010). "Personal care products" (PCPs) is emerging as a category of chemicals detected in water and identified by the scientific community for further study to better understand potential environmental impacts (Rudd et al., 2014). Regulatory efforts have been underway to establish environmental risk assessment procedures specific to this class of products (Health Canada, 2010). ...
Article
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Personal care products (PCPs) are used globally wherever there is human activity, and are typically emitted to the environment in wastewater under normal use. Regulators and scientists have thus begun focusing on PCPs as a potential water quality concern. PCP manufacturers are increasingly motivated to leverage available data on potential exposure and hazards to the natural environment to guide sustainable decision making and minimize the potential for products to cause adverse environmental effects. We describe a novel algorithm to: select data on environmental exposure and hazard potential relevant to PCP ingredients after use, evaluate and interpret those data, and translate the information to a single numeric score usable by non-specialists to incorporate environmental protection goals into PCP sustainability decision making. The algorithm has been implemented as the Global Aquatic Ingredient Assessment (GAIA) database tool, incorporating information on environmental persistence, bioaccumulation potential, aquatic toxicity of the parent compound and degradants, excess toxicity from ecological endocrine disruption effects, and the potential for producing photochemical smog. GAIA quantifies environmental hazard potential using an algorithm allowing it to be used as a risk surrogate for PCP product use. GAIA data are also used in environmental risk assessments with product-specific exposure data as a final check during product reformulation or as a post hoc measure of progress toward corporate sustainability goals. Scoring results are demonstrated for eight representative substances: benzophenone-4, ethylene diamine tetraacetate salts, ethylhexylglycerin, menthol, methyl salicylate, musk xylene, phenoxyethanol, and zinc oxide. Case studies show how GAIA scores, used as a front-line decision tool, led to environmental risk reductions in two cases: a newly developed surfactant and a reformulated cleansing product.
... In addition to contaminant exposure, aquatic organisms residing near effluent outfalls are also subjected to poor habitat conditions as a result of excess nutrient loading, eutrophication, oxygen depletion, increased conductivity, and changes in temperature (Odjadjare and Okoh, 2010;Holeton et al., 2011;Tetreault et al., 2012;Melvin, 2016;Hamdhani et al., 2020;Mehdi et al., 2021). The impacts of wastewater effluent exposure have been a subject of growing research and concern, especially since our reliance on WWTPs continues to increase as urban populations grow (Grimm et al., 2008;Holeton et al., 2011;Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014;Hamdhani et al., 2020). ...
Article
Municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent is a substantial source of pollution in aquatic habitats that can impact organisms across multiple levels of biological organization. Even though wastewater effluent is discharged continuously all year long, its impacts across seasons, specifically during winter, have largely been neglected in ecotoxicological research. Seasonal differences are of particular interest, as temperature-driven metabolic changes in aquatic organisms can significantly alter their ability to respond to chemical stressors. In this study, we examined the effects of multiple levels of wastewater effluent exposure (0, 25, or 50% treated effluent) on the physiological and behavioural responses of adult fathead minnow (Pimephales promelas) at temperatures simulating either summer (20 °C) or winter (4 °C) conditions. At 20 °C, wastewater exposure posed a metabolic cost to fish, demonstrated by higher standard metabolic rate associated with increased haematocrit and a reduction in boldness. In contrast, fish exposed to wastewater at 4 °C experienced no change in metabolic rate but performed fewer social interactions with their conspecifics. Taken together, our results demonstrate that wastewater exposure can lead to metabolic and behavioural disruptions, and such disruptions vary in magnitude and direction depending on temperature. Our findings highlight the importance of studying the interactions between stressors, while also underscoring the importance of research during colder periods of the year to broaden and deepen our understanding of the impacts of wastewater contamination in aquatic ecosystems.
... Globally, ~80% of sewage production is released to the environment untreated (WWAP 2017). These facts raise concern about the potential for bioaccumulation and associated adverse effects to aquatic wildlife (Daughton and Brooks, 2011), which was previously identified as a key research need to define risks of pharmaceuticals in the environment (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). Unfortunately, few studies have been focused on bioaccumulation of CECs in wastewater receiving water bodies or with biota under controlled laboratory conditions from Argentina (Cazenave et al., 2014;Dorelle et al., 2017;Elorriaga et al., 2013 a, b;Pérez et al., 2018;Valdes et al., 2014;. ...
Article
Because an understanding of aquatic bioaccumulation of human pharmaceuticals in Latin America is limited, this area was recently identified as a priority environmental quality research need. We examined bioaccumulation of twenty-seven pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs and their metabolites in muscle, liver and gills of multiple fish species (Rhamdia quelen, Hypostomus commersoni, Hoplias lacerdae, Prochilodus lineatus) from an urban river receiving wastewater discharges (Paraná) and a lotic system (Acaraguá) without direct wastewater sources, which runs through a protected area. All samples were analyzed using isotope-dilution liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry. Caffeine, which was detected up to 13 g/kg, and antibiotics were consistently detected in all fish. Among antibiotics, erythromycin was ubiquitous (0.7-5.6 ug/kg) but its tissue concentrations were lower than levels of sulfamethoxazole, sulfathiazole and trimethoprim (0.9-5.5 ug/kg), which are used in human medicine, aquaculture and livestock. Erythromycin bioaccumulation in fish is reported here from Argentina for the first time, though levels of antibiotics in edible muscles of these species were lower than the maximum residue limits for human consumption. We observed norfluoxetine, the primary active metabolite of the antidepressant fluoxetine, ranging from 1.1-9.1 ug/kg in fish. We further identified benzoylecgonine, a primary metabolite of cocaine, in fish from both study systems, representing the first observation an illicit drug or associated metabolites bioaccumulation in aquatic life from Argentina. Interestingly, high pharmaceutical levels were observed in fish from the Acaraguá river suggesting their transport into the protected area, from the surrounding lands. Though fish from the Paraná river were sampled near WWTP discharges, pharmaceutical concentrations may have been reduced by hydrological and other environmental conditions, and biological differences among species. These findings, which observed bioaccumulation of select pharmaceuticals, their metabolites and illicit drugs in wild fish sampled inside a protected area, highlight the importance of developing an advanced understanding of urban influences on inland protected watersheds.
... nursery-role for fishes). These are major issues of concern, as impacts on coastal environments will predictably increase with population growth and coastal settlement (Gaw et al., 2014;Tornero and Hanke, 2016 (Caldwell et al., 2014;Rudd et al., 2014). ...
Article
We investigated the presence of 66 human and veterinary pharmaceuticals from seven therapeutic groups insurface waters of the Tejo estuary. Collection sites covered the entire estuary and included areas near main riverinflows and wastewater treatment outfalls, traversing urban, agriculture, aquaculture, and nature reserve areas.Detection of pharmaceuticals was performed via UHPLC-TOF-MS. Pharmaceuticals were found in all sites (32different compounds in total). Antibiotics, β-blockers, antihypertensives and anti-inflammatories were the mostfrequently detected (> 90%), with variation in concentrations reflecting the multifaceted nature of estuarinesurroundings (accumulated site contamination between 15 and 351 ng L−1). Higher concentrations of anti-depressant Sertraline (304 ng L−1), non-steroidal anti-inflammatory Diclofenac (51.8 ng L−1), lipid regulatorGemfibrozil (77.0 ng L−1), antihypertensive Ibersartan (161.9 ng L−1) or antibiotic Doxycycline (128.0 ng L−1),among others, though localized may potentially impact key estuarine functions or services. Ultimately, resultsprovide a baseline for regulatory information and future biota evaluations.
... Finally, an internet-based survey of the broader SETAC Europe membership was used to rank the priority questions using the best-to-worst scaling approach described in Rudd et al. (2014). E-mails were sent out to all SETAC Europe members asking them to participate in the survey. ...
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The United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals have been established to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals will require a healthy and productive environment. An understanding of the impacts of chemicals which can negatively impact environmental health is therefore essential to the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, current research on and regulation of chemicals in the environment tend to take a simplistic view and do not account for the complexity of the real world, which inhibits the way we manage chemicals. There is therefore an urgent need for a step change in the way we study and communicate the impacts and control of chemicals in the natural environment. To do this requires the major research questions to be identified so that resources are focused on questions that really matter. We present the findings of a horizon-scanning exercise to identify research priorities of the European environmental science community around chemicals in the environment. Using the key questions approach, we identified 22 questions of priority. These questions covered overarching questions about which chemicals we should be most concerned about and where, impacts of global megatrends, protection goals, and sustainability of chemicals; the development and parameterization of assessment and management frameworks; and mechanisms to maximize the impact of the research. The research questions identified provide a first-step in the path forward for the research, regulatory, and business communities to better assess and manage chemicals in the natural environment. Environ Toxicol Chem 2018;9999:1-15. C 2018 SETAC
... A recent survey, with participants specially from North America, identified 22 important research questions around the environmental risks of PPCP that would help address the most pressing knowledge gaps over the next decade. It also suggests the potential for future collaborative research between industry, government, and the academy on environmental contaminants beyond PPCPs (Rudd 2014). A study pointing to a possible risk of contamination by metals from the recycling process was done in the city of Porto Alegre, among children whose parents were waste collectors. ...
Article
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According to estimates MNCR (National Movement of Recyclable Materials), there are about 2,000 people working on recycling cooperatives in the Metropolitan Region of São Paulo (MASP). The Movement has recorded 45 cooperatives, which have 851 workers, being the type of material and the level of organization different between these cooperatives. Investment in skills and education, support and innovation, flexible housing markets, competition policy, and product market regulation, can help promoting the movement of resources and manage dislocation, particularly in its effects on poorer people. The aim of this project was to propose an alternative reverse logistics organization to cooperatives of collectors of recyclable materials in São Paulo, with effective environmental practices, which would proper or better management the solid waste (Souza 2015). Materials and methods: This study went conducted in partnership with Cetesb (Technology Company of Environmental Sanitation of the State of São Paulo), USP (Faculty of Medicine, University of São Paulo) and MNCR (National Movement of Recyclable Materials). This project went present the involvement of all stakeholders in the discussion of the methods undertaken and the results found. Cooperation and simultaneous actions are critical to the success in the challenge of fostering growth, transformation and managing climate change. Social movements can be powerful agents for change. Leadership went at a premium. And sometimes when leaders get together in the face of shared threats they may take a more long-term view of policies than when narrowly driven by local politics, for example, with the building of international cooperation after the Second World War, which fostered a strong period of growth and trade in many countries. But such an outcome cannot be taken for granted. The next 10-15 years could be an era of great progress and growth. In this period we have the technological, financial and human resources to raise living standards across the world. Good policies that support investment and innovation can further reduce poverty and hunger, make fast-growing cities economically vibrant and socially inclusive, and restore and protect the world’s natural environments. The better outcome depends on a shared understanding of dangers and of what can be done in the way of action. It is crucial to be able to see a constructive and attractive way forward. The opportunity is to harness the expanding capacities of human intelligence and technological progress to improve the lives of the majority of the world’s people. I believe the perspectives and theories of the Economic Advisory Panel (EAP) has guided the work of the cooperatives of recyclable materials located in the city of São Paulo, in Brazil, and are essential for an understanding of the processes of growth and change, which are at the heart of the challenges and choices.
... Subsequently, as surface water systems become increasingly influenced by WWTP discharges, it is important to understand the global aquatic hazards of SSRIs, which are routinely included in prioritization exercises for pharmaceuticals in the environment (Burns et al., 2018). In fact, identifying geographic regions where pharmaceuticals present elevated environmental risks was recently identified as a priority research need for effective management of water resources (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). ...
Article
As the global population becomes more concentrated in urban areas, resource consumption, including access to pharmaceuticals, is increasing and chemical use is also increasingly concentrated. Unfortunately, implementation of waste management systems and wastewater treatment infrastructure is not yet meeting these global megatrends. Herein, pharmaceuticals are indicators of an urbanizing water cycle; antidepressants are among the most commonly studied classes of these contaminants of emerging concern. In the present study, we performed a unique global hazard assessment of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) in water matrices across geographic regions and for common wastewater treatment technologies. SSRIs in the environment have primarily been reported from Europe (50%) followed by North America (38%) and Asia-Pacific (10%). Minimal to no monitoring data exists for many developing regions of the world, including Africa and South America. From probabilistic environmental exposure distributions, 5th and 95th percentiles for all SSRIs across all geographic regions were 2.31 and 3022.1 ng/L for influent, 5.3 and 841.6 ng/L for effluent, 0.8 and 127.7 ng/L for freshwater, and 0.5 and 22.3 ng/L for coastal and marine systems, respectively. To estimate the potential hazards of SSRIs in the aquatic environment, percent exceedances of therapeutic hazard values of specific SSRIs, without recommended safety factors, were identified within and among geographic regions. For influent sewage and wastewater effluents, sertraline exceedances were observed 49% and 29% of the time, respectively, demonstrating the need to better understand emerging water quality hazards of SSRIs in urban freshwater and coastal ecosystems. This unique global review and analysis identified regions where more monitoring is necessary, and compounds requiring toxicological attention, particularly with increasing aquatic reports of behavioral perturbations elicited by SSRIs.
... With the rapid development of the economy, the problem of environmental pollution became a major research focus. Pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) represent a type of environmental pollutant that has "subtle, potential, and cumulative impact" [1]. The content of PPCPs is very low in the natural environment as a whole, but it can be detected in water, soil, and the atmospheric environment [2]. ...
Article
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Trimethoprim is one of the representative drugs within the pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCPs) group. The photo-Fenton oxidation technology was used to degrade trimethoprim in wastewater and the extent of degradation was analyzed by using high-performance liquid chromatography, then experimentally obtained the optimal conditions. Analysis of the experimental data showed that, under the single-factor experimental conditions, the optimal conditions for degradation were a pH of 4, an H2O2 concentration of 3.0 mmol/L, an FeSO4 concentration of 0.06 mmol/L, an initial trimethoprim concentration of 0.0689 mmol/L, and an ultraviolet (UV) intensity (UVA) of 12 mW/cm2. The interaction of pH and the concentration of H2O2 and Fe2+ have been further explored, it was obtained the following response surface results through the central composite design experiment: pH = 4.56, H2O2 concentration = 0.09 mmol/L, and Fe2+ concentration = 0.09 mmol/L. Under these conditions, it can be obtained a degradation rate of 99.95% after 6 min. There were similar results for three sets of parallel experiments, indicating that these simulation conditions were feasible.
... 45 In fact, the importance of understanding bioaccumulation of ionizables has been identified as an important research need to reduce environmental risks of pharmaceuticals and personal care products. 46,47 Subsequently, bioavailability and bioaccumulation of ionizable environmental contaminants have received more recent attention. 48 When BCF cut-off values used for regulatory determinations of potentially bioaccumulative chemicals are considered, global bioaccumulation approaches require further attention. ...
Article
Pursuit of sustainable environmental quality is a noble goal, but global megatrends, highlighted by concentration of chemical use in cities faster than implementation of waste management systems, present emerging risks to public health and the environment. Step changes in global environmental assessment and management activities are necessary. Herein, integration of green chemistry with ecotoxicology, which has matured to a mechanistic science, promises to reduce exposures to hazardous substances and support pursuits of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Integrative, comparative and predictive toxicology efforts, if advanced across models, species and scales of biological organization, can catalyze the work of chemists and engineers engaging sustainable molecular design for reduced environmental hazard.
... ERY and other antimicrobials have been detected globally in wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluent, freshwater and seawater systems, biosolids, sediments, soils, and aquatic organisms (Aus Der Beek et al., 2016;Białk-Bieli nska et al., 2016;Bu et al., 2013;Gaw et al., 2014;Puckowski et al., 2016). However, developing an understanding of global hot spots and subsequent hazards of pharmaceuticals in various environmental matrices was only recently identified as a global research need in order to define risks to public health and the environment (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). Further, understanding health and ecological risks of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals were recently identified as a priority for developing countries in Latin America (Furley et al., 2018). ...
Article
Environmental observations of antibiotics and other pharmaceuticals have received attention as indicators of an urbanizing global water cycle. When connections between environment and development of antibiotic resistance (ABR) are considered, it is increasingly important to understand the life cycle of antibiotics. Here we examined the global occurrence of erythromycin (ERY) in: 1. wastewater effluent, inland waters, drinking water, groundwater, and estuarine and coastal systems; 2. sewage sludge, biosolids and sediments; and 3. tissues of aquatic organisms. We then performed probabilistic environmental hazard assessments to identify probabilities of exceeding the predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) of 1.0 μg L-1for promoting ABR, based on previous modeling of minimum inhibitory concentrations and minimal selective concentrations of ERY, and measured levels from different geographic regions. Marked differences were observed among geographic regions and matrices. For example, more information was available for water matrices (312 publications) than solids (97 publications). ERY has primarily been studied in Asia, North America and Europe with the majority of studies performed in China, USA, Spain and the United Kingdom. In surface waters 72.4% of the Asian studies have been performed in China, while 85.4% of the observations from North America were from the USA; Spain represented 41.9% of the European surface water studies. Remarkably, results from PEHAs indicated that the likelihood of exceeding the ERY PNEC for ABR in effluents was markedly high in Asia (33.3%) followed by Europe (20%) and North America (17.8%). Unfortunately, ERY occurrence data is comparatively limited in coastal and marine systems across large geographic regions including Southwest Asia, Eastern Europe, Africa, and Central and South America. Future studies are needed to understand risks of ERY and other antibiotics to human health and the environment, particularly in developing regions where waste management systems and treatment infrastructure are being implemented slower than access to and consumption of pharmaceuticals is occurring.
... The ubiquitous occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the environment, food supplies, and drinking water resources He et al., 2019;He et al., 2017;Li et al., 2017) poses serious threats to human health (Bailey et al., 2014;Baran et al., 2011;Kumarasamy et al., 2010). Although pharmaceuticals are usually detected in environmental samples at low concentrations, the potential for nontarget pharmacological activity raises public and ecological health concerns (Jepsen et al., 2019;Rodea-Palomares et al., 2016;Rudd et al., 2014). Due to reported toxicity outcomes, some pharmaceuticals, including 17a-ethinylestradiol, 17b-estradiol, diclofenac, and specific antibiotics (e.g., azithromycin, clarithromycin, and erythromycin), have been recommended for potential regulation (Carvalho et al., 2015;European Commission, 2013). ...
... shipping, tourism or recreation activities) (Kaplan, 2013). Due to their potential ecotoxicological effects even at low concentrations (Christen et al., 2010;Daughton and Ternes, 1999;Melvin, 2015;Melvin et al., 2014;United Nations Environment Programme and the World Health Organization, 2013), PPCPs are now widely recognized as emerging threats to aquatic animals and ecosystem health (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014), including marine ecosystems (Minguez et al., 2014). ...
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Current policy and management for marine water quality in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) in north-eastern Australia primarily focusses on sediment, nutrients and pesticides derived from diffuse source pollution related to agricultural land uses. In addition, contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) are known to be present in the marine environments of the GBR and the adjacent Torres Strait (TS). Current and projected agricultural, urban and industrial developments are likely to increase the sources and diversity of CECs being released into these marine ecosystems. In this review, we evaluate the sources, presence and potential effects of six different categories of CECs known to be present, or likely to be present, in the GBR and TS marine ecosystems. Specifically, we summarize available monitoring, source and effect information for antifouling paints; coal dust and particles; heavy/trace metals and metalloids; marine debris and microplastics; pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs); and petroleum hydrocarbons. Our study highlights the lack of (available) monitoring data for most of these CECs, and recommends: (i) the inclusion of all relevant environmental data into integrated databases for building marine baselines for the GBR and TS regions, and (ii) the implementation of local, targeted monitoring programs informed by predictive methods for risk prioritization. Further, our spatial representation of the known and likely sources of these CECs will contribute to future ecological risk assessments of CECs to the GBR and TS marine environments, including risks relative to those identified for sediment, nutrients and pesticides.
... However, pollutants persist in aquatic environments as mixtures (Boxall et al., 2012;Heberer, 2002), and toxicity of chemicals in combination may be higher than that of single compounds (Backhaus, 2016;Smith et al., 2013). Vital questions regarding the effect of PhACs in combination on aquatic organisms remain largely unresolved (Rudd et al., 2014). ...
Article
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Pharmaceutically active compounds (PhACs) are ubiquitous in the aquatic environment worldwide and considered emerging contaminants. Their effects on growth, behavior, and physiological processes of aquatic organisms have been identified even at very low concentrations. Ecotoxicological investigations have primarily focused on single compound exposure, generally at a range of concentrations. In the natural environment, pollutants seldom occur in isolation, but little is known about the effects and risks of combinations of chemicals. This study aimed to investigate the effects of concurrent exposure to six psychoactive PhACs on locomotory behavior and life history traits of clonal marbled crayfish Procambarus virginalis. Crayfish were exposed to ~1 μg L−1 of the antidepressants sertraline, citalopram, and venlafaxine; the anxiolytic oxazepam; the opioid tramadol; and the widely abused psychostimulant methamphetamine. In the absence of shelter, exposed crayfish moved significantly shorter distances and at lower velocity and showed significantly less activity than controls. With available shelter, exposed crayfish moved significantly more distance, showed higher activity, and spent a significantly more time outside the shelter than controls. Molting, mortality, and spawning frequency did not vary significantly between the groups. Hemolymph glucose level did not vary among groups and was not correlated with observed behaviors. Results suggest that environmental concentrations of the tested compounds in combination can alter the behavior of non-target aquatic organisms as individual exposure of these compounds, which may lead to disruption of ecosystem processes due to their reduced caution in stressful conditions. Further research is needed using varied chemical mixtures, exposure systems, and habitats, considering molecular and physiological processes connected to behavior alterations.
... Understanding of the effects of pharmaceuticals on non-target species has been identified as a significant knowledge gap [34][35][36]. The current study presents an initial exploratory attempt to address this need by investigating the biochemical and physiological responses of inanga, a culturally and commercially important species, to diclofenac. ...
Article
Diclofenac is a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug of growing concern in aquatic environments worldwide, yet knowledge of its effects on aquatic biota are restricted to a few model species and mechanisms of impact. In the current study, diclofenac accumulation, its effects on metabolic rate, ionoregulation, and oxidative stress were examined at environmentally-relevant (0.17 μg L-1) and elevated (763 μg L-1) concentrations in a culturally and economically important galaxiid fish, inanga (Galaxias maculatus), from the Southern Hemisphere. This species is among the most widespread freshwater fish in the world, yet its sensitivity to emerging contaminants is unknown. Following an acute 96 h exposure, bioconcentration of diclofenac was measured in inanga whole body, resulting in an estimated bioconcentration factor of 87 for the 0.17 μg L-1 exposure concentration, approaching values where transfer through the food chain should be considered. Lipid peroxidation in the liver was significantly elevated at both 0.17 and 763 μg L-1 exposure concentrations, but lipid peroxidation in kidney and gill decreased after diclofenac exposure. Catalase activity was also elevated in the liver of inanga, but activity decreased in the gill. There were no effects of diclofenac on metabolic rate or ion (sodium and calcium) influx rates. These data indicate toxicologically-relevant adverse outcomes and bioconcentration of diclofenac at environmentally-relevant levels warrant additional study in this important fish. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
... Here, we have synthesized the top 100 research questions addressing key knowledge gaps, as identified by scholars and practitioners for rainfed dryland agriculture in India. We have developed this using an adapted version of the Delphi method previously used to identify key questions in a number of fields within the agricultural and environmental sciences (Dey et al., 2020), including ecology and conservation (Sutherland et al., 2019a), global agriculture (Pretty et al., 2010), food systems (Ingram et al., 2013), the environmental influence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014), water and social science and humanities contributions to energy transitions (Foulds et al., 2019). ...
Article
Full-text available
India has the largest area of rainfed dryland agriculture globally, with a variety of distinct types of farming systems producing most of its coarse cereals, food legumes, minor millets, and large amounts of livestock. All these are vital for national and regional food and nutritional security. Yet, the rainfed drylands have been relatively neglected in mainstream agricultural and rural development policy. As a result, significant social-ecological challenges overlap in these landscapes: endemic poverty, malnutrition and land degradation. Sustainable intensification of dryland agriculture is essential for helping to address these challenges, particularly in the context of accelerating climate change. In this paper, we present 100 questions that point to the most important knowledge gaps and research priorities. If addressed, these would facilitate and inform sustainable intensification in Indian rainfed drylands, leading to improved agricultural production and enhanced ecosystem services. The horizon scanning method used to produce these questions brought together experts and practitioners involved in a broad range of disciplines and sectors. This exercise resulted in a consolidated set of questions covering the agricultural drylands, organized into 13 themes. Together, these represent a collective programme for new cross- and multi-disciplinary research on sustainable intensification in the Indian rainfed drylands.
... We therefore recommend a future stronger research focus on fate and distribution properties for relevant PPCPs in the Arctic environment. We recommend therefore to & Identify and implement relevant PPCPs into already established long-term national and regional monitoring programs For more detailed information on research priorities for PPCPs as environmental pollutants, we refer to a recent strategic study (Rudd et al. 2014). ...
Article
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A first review on occurrence and distribution of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) is presented. The literature survey conducted here was initiated by the current Assessment of the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme (AMAP). This first review on the occurrence and environmental profile of PPCPs in the Arctic identified the presence of 110 related substances in the Arctic environment based on the reports from scientific publications, national and regional assessments and surveys, as well as academic research studies (i.e., PhD theses). PPCP residues were reported in virtually all environmental compartments from coastal seawater to high trophic level biota. For Arctic environments, domestic and municipal wastes as well as sewage are identified as primary release sources. However, the absence of modern waste water treatment plants (WWTPs), even in larger settlements in the Arctic, is resulting in relatively high release rates for selected PPCPs into the receiving Arctic (mainly) aquatic environment. Pharmaceuticals are designed with specific biochemical functions as a part of an integrated therapeutically procedure. This biochemical effect may cause unwanted environmental toxicological effects on non-target organisms when the compound is released into the environment. In the Arctic environments, pharmaceutical residues are released into low to very low ambient temperatures mainly into aqueous environments. Low biodegradability and, thus, prolonged residence time must be expected for the majority of the pharmaceuticals entering the aquatic system. The environmental toxicological consequence of the continuous PPCP release is, thus, expected to be different in the Arctic compared to the temperate regions of the globe. Exposure risks for Arctic human populations due to consumption of contaminated local fish and invertebrates or through exposure to resistant microbial communities cannot be excluded. However, the scientific results reported and summarized here, published in 23 relevant papers and reports (see Table S1 and following references), must still be considered as indication only. Comprehensive environmental studies on the fate, environmental toxicology, and distribution profiles of pharmaceuticals applied in high volumes and released into the Nordic environment under cold Northern climate conditions should be given high priority by national and international authorities.
... Antibiotic occurrence in the environment has also received heightened attention due to influences on the development of antibiotic resistance (ABR), which is now spreading (Qiao et al., 2018) and represents a leading threat to global public health (World Health Organization, 2015). For example, influences of antibiotics in the environment on the development of ABR microorganisms was recently identified as a priority global research need (Boxall et al., 2012;Rudd et al., 2014). ...
Article
Though antibiotic resistance (ABR) represents a major global health threat, contributions of landfill leachate to the life cycle of antibiotics and ABR development are poorly understood in rapidly urbanizing regions of developing countries. We selected one of the largest active landfills in Asia and two landfills that have been closed for 20 years to examine antibiotic occurrences in leachates and associated hazards during wet and dry season sampling events. We focused on some of the most commonly used human antibiotics in Hong Kong, one of the most populous Asian cities and the fourth most densely populated cities in the world. Seven antibiotics (cephalexin [CLX], chloramphenicol [CAP], ciprofloxacin [CIP], erythromycin [ERY], roxithromycin [ROX], trimethoprim [TMP], sulfamethoxazole [SMX]) were quantitated using HPLC-MS/MS generally following previously reported methods. Whereas CLX, CAP, ROX and SMX in leachates did not exceed ABR predicted no effect concentrations (PNECs), exceedances were observed for CIP, ERY and TMP in some study locations and on some dates. In fact, an ABR PNEC for CIP was exceeded in leachates during both sampling periods from all study locations, including leachates that are directly discharged to coastal systems. These findings highlight the importance of developing an advanced understanding of pharmaceutical access, usage and disposal practices, effectiveness of intervention strategies (e.g., leachate treatment technologies, drug take-back schemes), and contributions of landfill leachates to the life cycle of antibiotics and ABR development, particularly in rapidly urbanizing coastal regions with less advanced waste management systems than Hong Kong.
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The Global Horizon Scanning Project (GHSP) is an innovative initiative that aims to identify important global environmental quality research needs. Here we report 20 key research questions from Latin America (LA). Members of the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) LA and other scientists from LA were asked to submit research questions that would represent priority needs to address in the region. One hundred questions were received, then partitioned among categories, examined, and some rearranged during a workshop in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Twenty priority research questions were subsequently identified. These research questions included developing, improving, and harmonizing across LA countries methods for 1) identifying contaminants and degradation products in complex matrices (including biota); 2) advancing prediction of contaminant risks and effects in ecosystems, addressing lab-to-field extrapolation challenges, and understanding complexities of multiple stressors (including chemicals and climate change); and 3) improving management and regulatory tools toward achieving sustainable development. Whereas environmental contaminants frequently identified in these key questions were pesticides, pharmaceuticals, endocrine disruptors or modulators, plastics, and nanomaterials, commonly identified environmental challenges were related to agriculture, urban effluents, solid wastes, pulp and paper mills, and natural extraction activities. Several interesting research topics included assessing and preventing pollution impacts on conservation protected areas, integrating environment and health assessments, and developing strategies for identification, substitution, and design of less hazardous chemicals (e.g., green chemistry). Finally, a recurrent research need included developing an understanding of differential sensitivity of regional species and ecosystems to environmental contaminants and other stressors. Addressing these critical questions will support development of long-term strategic research efforts to advance more sustainable environmental quality and protect public health and the environment in LA. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2018;00:000-000. C 2018 SETAC
Article
We selected 14 anthropogenic organic compounds representing major classes of potential contaminants for analysis to determine their occurrence in the South Saskatchewan River and its tributaries near irrigated farmland and the only urban center in southeast Alberta, Canada. Agriculture and urban runoff and discharges seem to have little impact on the quality of surface water based on samples taken above and below Medicine Hat/Redcliff in the South Saskatchewan River and local tributaries. Samples of river water, tributary water, and raw and treated wastewater taken over a period of 3 years allowed an estimation of the impact of trace organic compounds from urban and agricultural activities on water quality. Of the 14 compounds investigated, 10 were detected in concentrations above the detection limit in at least one surface water sample and 9 at concentrations above the detection limit in sewage samples. The wastewater treatment plant removed indicator compounds to varying degrees, and the volume of treated effluent discharge was <1% of the river, even during the lowest flow conditions, thereby minimizing potential impact. Discharge in the river and tributaries varied by an order of magnitude over the period of study, including 2 major flood events in the South Saskatchewan River. Potential health or environmental effects were difficult to evaluate from a regulatory perspective because few guidelines are available for reference.
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No uniform regulation for risk assessment of pharmaceutical and personal care products (PPCP) mixtures is currently available. Hence, a large diversity of strategies can be used for studying cocktail effects of PPCP, which makes difficult the task of incorporating this challenging issue into regulatory frameworks. This review provides an updated state of knowledge on the ecotoxicity of PPCP mixtures, including 194 assessments of the toxicity of mixtures from 65 articles published during 2000–2017. The misunderstandings, deficiencies and data gaps identified from those studies were critically discussed based on the models/tools used to predict/assess the joint effects and the interpretation and presentation of the effect profiles, the experimental designs used, the qualitative and quantitative composition of the PPCP mixtures and the type of bioassays performed regarding test duration, endpoints and levels of biological organization. Possible approaches pointed out in the literature to deal with the identified critical issues were also discussed. Overall, we have identified that further advances in this field of research still lack robust and consistent studies regarding the experimental design and the approaches and terminologies used to calculate, interpret and report the joint effects.
Article
Residues and metabolites of pharmaceuticals can pollute environmental compartments, food commodities and workplaces, thus posing a serious threat to human health and environmental integrity. Needless to say, this challenge is increasingly attracting the attention of the international scientific community, the decision makers and the layman. Much concern has been expressed over the past few years over the deleterious consequences of the discharge of medicinal products, often as unused or expired products, into the various environmental compartments, to say nothing of their occurrence in foodstuff and feedstuff and of their undue presence in the workplace. This widespread presence inescapably raises a number of questions among which of prime importance is the reliable quantification of such residues and metabolites in the various media in order to assess whether and to what extent they can endanger biota and humans. This work summarizes the key findings of an overview of the scientific literature in this field approximately over the past three years (2014–2016) with particular regard to the most fit-for-purpose analytical approaches currently resorted to for the detection, identification and quantification of residues of medicinal products in the most diverse matrices along with the assessment of their noxious potential. A total of almost 1000 papers, reports and other publicly available documents published in the said period were scanned.
Article
Purpose: The Adverse Outcome Pathway (AOP) framework, a systematic tool that can link available mechanistic data with phenotypic outcomes of relevance to regulatory decision-making, is being explored in areas related to radiation risk assessment. To examine the challenges including the use of AOPs to support the radiation protection community, an international horizon-style exercise (HSE) was initiated through the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development Nuclear Energy Agency High-Level Group on Low Dose Research Radiation/Chemical AOP Joint Topical Group (JTG). The objective of the HSE was to facilitate the collection of ideas from a range of experts, to short-list a set of priority research questions that could, if answered, improve the description of the radiation dose-response relationship for low dose/dose-rate exposures, as well as reduce uncertainties in estimating the risk of developing adverse health outcomes following such exposures. Materials and methods: The HSE was guided by an international steering committee (SC) of radiation risk experts. In the first phase, research questions were solicited on areas that can be supported by the AOP framework, or challenges on the use of AOPs in radiation risk assessment. In the second phase, questions received were refined and sorted by the SC using a best-worst scaling (BWS) method. During a virtual 3-day workshop, the list of questions was further narrowed. In the third phase, an international survey of the broader radiation protection community led to an orderly ranking of the top questions. Results: Of the 271 questions solicited, 254 were accepted and categorized into 9 themes. These were further refined to the top 25 prioritized questions. Among these, the higher ranked questions will be considered as ‘important’ to drive future initiatives in the low dose radiation protection community. These included questions on the ability of AOPs to delineate responses across different levels of biological organization, and how AOPs could be applied to address research questions on radiation quality, doses or dose-rates, exposure time patterns and deliveries, and uncertainties in low dose/dose-rate effects. A better understanding of these concepts is required to support the use of the AOP framework in radiation risk assessment. Conclusion: Through dissemination of these results and considerations on next steps, the JTG will address select priority questions to advance the development and use of AOPs in the radiation protection community. The major themes observed will be discussed in the context of their relevance to areas of research that support the system of radiation protection.
Chapter
Emerging research shows adverse health outcomes such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and neurotoxicity from water pollutants such as flame retardants, endocrine disruptors, and pharmaceuticals. Medical waste and energy use affects water quality and quantity. This chapter provides strategies for health professionals to promote water stewardship at personal, organizational and policy levels. Organizations such as Health Care Without Harm, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and the Ecology Center offer resources for improving education of health professionals and provide allies for change. Individual advocacy through writing op-eds, policy briefs, meeting with legislators and participation in coalitions allows health professionals to interpret the science behind the need for policy changes. Recommendations for health care curricula prepare students to develop sustainable practices through inter-professional collaboration. Environmentalists can use this information to better engage health professionals in promoting change.
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Climate change has far-reaching effects on human and ecological systems, requiring collaboration across sectors and disciplines to determine effective responses. To inform regional responses to climate change, decision-makers need credible and relevant information representing a wide swath of knowledge and perspectives. The southeastern U. S. State of Georgia is a valuable focal area for study because it contains multiple ecological zones that vary greatly in land use and economic activities, and it is vulnerable to diverse climate change impacts. We identified 40 important research questions that, if answered, could lay the groundwork for effective, science-based climate action in Georgia. Top research priorities were identified through a broad solicitation of candidate research questions (180 were received). A group of experts across sectors and disciplines gathered for a workshop to categorize, prioritize, and filter the candidate questions, identify missing topics, and rewrite questions. Participants then collectively chose the 40 most important questions. This cross-sectoral effort ensured the inclusion of a diversity of topics and questions (e.g., coastal hazards, agricultural production, ecosystem functioning, urban infrastructure, and human health) likely to be important to Georgia policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists. Several cross-cutting themes emerged, including the need for long-term data collection and consideration of at-risk Georgia citizens and communities. Workshop participants defined effective responses as those that take economic cost, environmental impacts, and social justice into consideration. Our research highlights the importance of collaborators across disciplines and sectors, and discussing challenges and opportunities that will require transdisciplinary solutions.
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Climate change has far-reaching effects on human and ecological systems, requiring collaboration across sectors and disciplines to determine effective responses. To inform regional responses to climate change, decision-makers need credible and relevant information representing a wide swath of knowledge and perspectives. The southeastern U. S. State of Georgia is a valuable focal area for study because it contains multiple ecological zones that vary greatly in land use and economic activities, and it is vulnerable to diverse climate change impacts. We identified 40 important research questions that, if answered, could lay the groundwork for effective, science-based climate action in Georgia. Top research priorities were identified through a broad solicitation of candidate research questions (180 were received). A group of experts across sectors and disciplines gathered for a workshop to categorize, prioritize, and filter the candidate questions, identify missing topics, and rewrite questions. Participants then collectively chose the 40 most important questions. This cross-sectoral effort ensured the inclusion of a diversity of topics and questions (e.g., coastal hazards, agricultural production, ecosystem functioning, urban infrastructure, and human health) likely to be important to Georgia policy-makers, practitioners, and scientists. Several cross-cutting themes emerged, including the need for long-term data collection and consideration of at-risk Georgia citizens and communities. Workshop participants defined effective responses as those that take economic cost, environmental impacts, and social justice into consideration. Our research highlights the importance of collaborators across disciplines and sectors, and discussing challenges and opportunities that will require transdisciplinary solutions.
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With the advent of better detection, more micro-contaminants are being found in water. Many of these micro-contaminants come from medical therapies and personal care products. These chemicals are comprised of a wide-range of substances including pharmaceuticals, dietary supplements, veterinary drugs, fragrances, hair care products, body lotions, oral care, and cosmetics. Many of these products enhance our quality of life and in some cases, provide life-saving therapies. But, they come with an environmental cost. Scientific research has found sub-therapeutic levels of many of these chemicals in our waterways and in our finished drinking water, causing concern about the potential environmental and public health impacts associated with very low, chronic exposure. As tailored therapies and personal care products are developed, it is crucial to consider how to control emerging contaminants from medical therapies and personal care products. Specific actions and policies can be implemented now by adopting upstream approaches to prevent waste and decrease environmental exposures.
Chapter
Emerging research shows adverse health outcomes such as diabetes, obesity, cancer, and neurotoxicity from water pollutants such as flame retardants, endocrine disruptors, and pharmaceuticals. Medical waste and energy use affects water quality and quantity. This chapter provides strategies for health professionals to promote water stewardship at personal, organizational and policy levels. Organizations such as Health Care Without Harm, Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and the Ecology Center offer resources for improving education of health professionals and provide allies for change. Individual advocacy through writing op-eds, policy briefs, meeting with legislators and participation in coalitions allows health professionals to interpret the science behind the need for policy changes. Recommendations for health care curricula prepare students to develop sustainable practices through inter-professional collaboration. Environmentalists can use this information to better engage health professionals in promoting change.
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Estuaries routinely receive discharges of contaminants of emerging concern from urban regions. Within these dynamic estuarine systems, salinity and pH can vary across spatial and temporal scales. Our previous research identified bioaccumulation of the calcium channel blocker diltiazem and the antihistamine diphenhydramine in several species of fish residing in multiple urban estuaries along the Gulf of Mexico in Texas, where field-measured observations of diltiazem in fish plasma exceeded human therapeutic plasma doses. However, there remains a limited understanding of pharmaceutical bioaccumulation in estuarine environments. Here, we examined the influence of pH and salinity on bioconcentration of three pharmaceuticals in the Gulf killifish, Fundulus grandis. F. grandis were exposed to low levels of the ionizable pharmaceuticals carbamazepine, diltiazem, and diphenhydramine at two salinities (5 ppt, 20 ppt)and two pH levels (6.7, 8.3). pH influenced bioconcentration of select weak base pharmaceuticals, while salinity did not, suggesting that intestinal uptake via drinking does not appear to be a major exposure route of these pharmaceuticals in killifish. Compared to our previous pH dependent uptake observations with diphenhydramine in the fathead minnow model, killifish apparent volume of distribution values were markedly lower than fatheads, though killifish bioconcentration factors were similar at high pH and four fold higher at low pH than freshwater fish. Advancing an understanding of environmental gradient influences on pharmacokinetics among fish is necessary to improve bioaccumulation assessments and interpretation of toxicological observations for ionizable contaminants.
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The purpose of this study was to investigate the bioaccumulation and biochemical responses exposed to one of the main organic ultraviolet (UV) pollutants in the environment, ethylhexyl methoxy cinnamate (EHMC), and its main transformation product, either alone or in combination in zebrafish (Danio rerio). Four-month-old zebrafish were exposed to EHMC (34.4, 344 nmol/L) solution for 14 days, the species and contents of EHMC transformation products in zebrafish were determined and 3,5-dichloro-2-hydroxyacetophenone (3,5DCl2HAcP) was the one with the highest concentration in transformation products. Then, zebrafish were exposed to EHMC, 3,5DCl2HAcP alone and mixed solution for 21 days. At 7, 14 and 21 d, the related indexes of antioxidant defense system were determined. Results showed that both EHMC and 3,5DCl2HAcP can lead to the increase of malondialdehyde (MDA) and glutathione (GSH) contents, superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and glutathione reductase (GR) activities in visceral mass compared with the corresponding control group, thus produced oxidative stress effect in organism and 3,5DCl2HAcP even showed stronger oxidative stress than EHMC. The effects of the two lower concentration co-exposure groups were similar and more significant to that of single exposure groups, while excessive oxidative stress occurred at the highest co-exposure group indicated by the decrease of GSH content, SOD, CAT, GR activities and the continued increase of MDA content. At 21 d, estradiol (E2), vitellogenin (Vtg) and testosterone (T) contents, estrogen receptor (Esr), progesterone receptor (Pgr), androgen receptor (Ar), Vtg1, P450 aromatase (Cyp19a1) and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (Hsd17b3) expression were all significantly increased when exposed to 3,5DCl2HAcP alone, showing complex estrogen and androgen effects. When exposed to EHMC alone, E2 and Vtg contents, Esr, Pgr, Vtg1, Cyp19a1 and Hsd17b1 gene expression levels decreased significantly, and T content and Ar and Hsd17b3 expression increased significantly, indicated that EHMC can produce anti-estrogen and androgen effect. Last, the decrease of estrogen effect and increase of androgen effect in co-exposure group suggested that 3,5DCl2HAcP might weaken the estrogen effect and promote the androgen effect of EHMC.
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Anticipating, identifying, and prioritizing strategic needs represent essential activities by research organizations. Decided benefits emerge when these pursuits engage globally important environment and health goals, including the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. To this end, horizon scanning efforts can facilitate identification of specific research needs to address grand challenges. We report and discuss 40 priority research questions following engagement of scientists and engineers in North America. These timely questions identify the importance of stimulating innovation and developing new methods, tools, and concepts in environmental chemistry and toxicology to improve assessment and management of chemical contaminants and other diverse environmental stressors. Grand challenges to achieving sustainable management of the environment are becoming increasingly complex and structured by global megatrends, which collectively challenge existing sustainable environmental quality efforts. Transdisciplinary, systems‐based approaches will be required to define and avoid adverse biological effects across temporal and spatial gradients. Similarly, coordinated research activities among organizations within and among countries are necessary to address the priority research needs reported here. Acquiring answers to these 40 research questions will not be trivial, but doing so promises to advance sustainable environmental quality in the 21st century. Environ Toxicol Chem 2019;38:1606–1624. © 2019 The Authors. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of SETAC.
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The European Union’s (EU) Horizon Europe programme provides exciting opportunities for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research to contribute to the fulfilment of the EU’s ambitious policy goals on energy and climate change. This report presents 100 questions that have been identified by experts as priorities for SSH research on smart consumption (i.e. related to the use of digital technologies for energy production, distribution and use).
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This report presents 100 questions that have been identified by experts as key priorities for SSH research on transport and mobility, in order to inform and support these goals. Specifically, these questions aim: To promote SSH research in the transition towards a carbon-neutral and socially just European transport system by 2050, which caters for human well-being, while acknowledging planetary boundaries and the need for climate change mitigation
Technical Report
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This report presents 100 research questions that have been identified by scientific experts as key priorities for Social Science and Humanities (SSH)research on renewables, in order to inform and support EU-funded research and innovation leading to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050.
Technical Report
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This report presents 100 research questions that have been identified by scientific experts as key priorities for Social Science and Humanities (SSH) research on renewable energy, in order to inform and support EU-funded research and innovation leading to achieve climate-neutrality by 2050. The questions together aim to promote SSH research that contributes to better understanding the meaning and conditions of just transitions to renewables-based energy systems, by recognising the social conditions and consequences of using and further implementing renewable energy technologies.
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The launch of the European Union’s (EU) Horizon Europe programme provides exciting opportunities for Social Sciences and Humanities (SSH) research to contribute to the fulfilment of the EU’s ambitious policy goals on energy and climate change. This report presents 100 questions that have been identified by experts as key priorities for SSH research on transport and mobility, in order to inform and support these goals. Specifically, these questions aim: To promote SSH research in the transition towards a carbon-neutral and socially just European transport system by 2050, which caters for human well-being, while acknowledging planetary boundaries and the need for climate change mitigation
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Climate change poses significant risk to island communities; however, there has been limited quantitative investigation into local people’s perception toward the risk. This study applied Best–Worst Scaling (BWS) to understand residents’ anxieties about potential incidents caused by climate change in Amami islands, Japan. Through an interview with stakeholders, we selected five potential incidents for our BWS attributes: damage caused by typhoon and heavy rain (typhoon), damage caused by flood and a landslide (flood), damage from a drought (drought), damage from ciguatera fish poisoning (ciguatera), and incident caused by jellyfish (jellyfish). Changes in frequencies of the abovementioned incidents have already been observed in Japan. In 2016, we conducted a questionnaire survey of residents in Amami islands and received over 700 valid responses to BWS questions. Results showed that the average respondent was most anxious about the risk of typhoon, followed by flood, drought, ciguatera, and jellyfish. Furthermore, a comparative analysis did not find large variations among the islands in the residents’ anxiety ranking concerning the incidents, but the degrees of their anxieties were different. The Amami-Oshima residents, for example, had relatively higher anxieties about flood, whereas the Okinoerabujima residents showed higher anxiety about drought. These findings support that their risk perceptions are determined by their experience and surrounding environments. Understanding the sensitivity of residents to climate change risk will encourage stakeholders to communicate and enhance climate change adaptation in local communities.
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Despite a significant growth in food production over the past half-century, one of the most important challenges facing society today is how to feed an expected population of some nine billion by the middle of the 20th century. To meet the expected demand for food without significant increases in prices, it has been estimated that we need to produce 70-100 per cent more food, in light of the growing impacts of climate change, concerns over energy security, regional dietary shifts and the Millennium Development target of halving world poverty and hunger by 2015. The goal for the agricultural sector is no longer simply to maximize productivity, but to optimize across a far more complex landscape of production, rural development, environmental, social justice and food consumption outcomes. However, there remain significant challenges to developing national and international policies that support the wide emergence of more sustainable forms of land use and efficient agricultural production. The lack of information flow between scientists, practitioners and policy makers is known to exacerbate the difficulties, despite increased emphasis upon evidence-based policy. In this paper, we seek to improve dialogue and understanding between agricultural research and policy by identifying the 100 most important questions for global agriculture. These have been compiled using a horizon-scanning approach with leading experts and representatives of major agricultural organizations worldwide. The aim is to use sound scientific evidence to inform decision making and guide policy makers in the future direction of agricultural research priorities and policy support. If addressed, we anticipate that these questions will have a significant impact on global agricultural practices worldwide, while improving the synergy between agricultural policy, practice and research. This research forms part of the UK Government's Foresight Global Food and Farming Futures project.
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To maximize the utility of research to decisionmaking, especially given limited financial resources, scientists must set priorities for their efforts. We present a list of the top 40 high-priority, multidisciplinary research questions directed toward informing some of the most important current and future decisions about management of species, communities, and ecological processes in the United States. The questions were generated by an open, inclusive process that included personal interviews with decisionmakers, broad solicitation of research needs from scientists and policymakers, and an intensive workshop that included scientifically oriented individuals responsible for managing and developing policy related to natural resources. The process differed from previous efforts to set priorities for conservation research in its focus on the engagement of decisionmakers in addition to researchers. The research priorities emphasized the importance of addressing societal context and exploration of trade-offs among alternative policies and actions, as well as more traditional questions related to ecological processes and functions.
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Integrating knowledge from across the natural and social sciences is necessary to effectively address societal tradeoffs between human use of biological diversity and its preservation. Collaborative processes can change the ways decision makers think about scientific evidence, enhance levels of mutual trust and credibility, and advance the conservation policy discourse. Canada has responsibility for a large fraction of some major ecosystems, such as boreal forests, Arctic tundra, wetlands, and temperate and Arctic oceans. Stressors to biological diversity within these ecosystems arise from activities of the country's resource-based economy, as well as external drivers of environmental change. Effective management is complicated by incongruence between ecological and political boundaries and conflicting perspectives on social and economic goals. Many knowledge gaps about stressors and their management might be reduced through targeted, timely research. We identify 40 questions that, if addressed or answered, would advance research that has a high probability of supporting development of effective policies and management strategies for species, ecosystems, and ecological processes in Canada. A total of 396 candidate questions drawn from natural and social science disciplines were contributed by individuals with diverse organizational affiliations. These were collaboratively winnowed to 40 by our team of collaborators. The questions emphasize understanding ecosystems, the effects and mitigation of climate change, coordinating governance and management efforts across multiple jurisdictions, and examining relations between conservation policy and the social and economic well-being of Aboriginal peoples. The questions we identified provide potential links between evidence from the conservation sciences and formulation of policies for conservation and resource management. Our collaborative process of communication and engagement between scientists and decision makers for generating and prioritizing research questions at a national level could be a model for similar efforts beyond Canada. Generación de Preguntas de Investigación Prioritarias para Informar a las Políticas y Gestión de la Conservación a Nivel Nacional
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1. There is a widely recognized gap between the data generated by researchers and the information required by policy makers. In an effort to bridge the gap between conservation policy and science, we have convened in several countries multiple groups of policy makers, practitioners and researchers to identify priority information needs that can be met by new research in the social and natural sciences. 2. The exercises we have coordinated included identification of priority policy-relevant research questions in specific geographies (UK, USA, Canada); questions relating to global conservation; questions relating to global agriculture; policy opportunities in the United Kingdom; and emerging global conservation issues or ‘horizon scanning’. 3. We outline the exercises and describe our methods, which are based on principles of inclusivity, openness and democracy. Methods to maximize inclusiveness and rigour in such exercises include solicitation of questions and priorities from an extensive community, online collation of material, repeated voting and engagement with policy networks to foster uptake and application of the results. 4. These methods are transferable to a wide range of policy or research areas within and beyond the conservation sciences.
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Rock climbers are likely to exhibit preference heterogeneity dictating the way with which such sport is practiced. This has a reflection on the population’s structure of recreational values of rock-climbing destinations, their attributes, and to land management policies. We test this hypothesis on a panel of destination choices by a sample of members of the Italian Alpine Club. Using a latent-class, random utility approach we find evidence in support of the hypothesis that there are at least four classes in the sample, thereby revealing a considerable richness in the structure of preference, which would otherwise be unobservable with more conventional approaches.
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Background: Over the past 10–15 years, a substantial amount of work has been done by the scientific, regulatory, and business communities to elucidate the effects and risks of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the environment. Objective: This review was undertaken to identify key outstanding issues regarding the effects of PPCPs on human and ecological health in order to ensure that future resources will be focused on the most important areas. Data sources: To better understand and manage the risks of PPCPs in the environment, we used the “key question” approach to identify the principle issues that need to be addressed. Initially, questions were solicited from academic, government, and business communities around the world. A list of 101 questions was then discussed at an international expert workshop, and a top-20 list was developed. Following the workshop, workshop attendees ranked the 20 questions by importance. Data synthesis: The top 20 priority questions fell into seven categories: a) prioritization of substances for assessment, b) pathways of exposure, c) bioavailability and uptake, d) effects characterization, e) risk and relative risk, f ) antibiotic resistance, and g) risk management. Conclusions: A large body of information is now available on PPCPs in the environment. This exercise prioritized the most critical questions to aid in development of future research programs on the topic.
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The need for policy makers to understand science and for scientists to understand policy processes is widely recognised. However, the science-policy relationship is sometimes difficult and occasionally dysfunctional; it is also increasingly visible, because it must deal with contentious issues, or itself becomes a matter of public controversy, or both. We suggest that identifying key unanswered questions on the relationship between science and policy will catalyse and focus research in this field. To identify these questions, a collaborative procedure was employed with 52 participants selected to cover a wide range of experience in both science and policy, including people from government, non-governmental organisations, academia and industry. These participants consulted with colleagues and submitted 239 questions. An initial round of voting was followed by a workshop in which 40 of the most important questions were identified by further discussion and voting. The resulting list includes questions about the effectiveness of science-based decision-making structures; the nature and legitimacy of expertise; the consequences of changes such as increasing transparency; choices among different sources of evidence; the implications of new means of characterising and representing uncertainties; and ways in which policy and political processes affect what counts as authoritative evidence. We expect this exercise to identify important theoretical questions and to help improve the mutual understanding and effectiveness of those working at the interface of science and policy.
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Conservation scientists are concerned about the apparent lack of impact their research is having on policy. By better aligning research with policy needs, conservation science might become more relevant to policy and increase its real-world salience in the conservation of biological diversity. Consequently, some conservation scientists have embarked on a variety of exercises to identify research questions that, if answered, would provide the evidence base with which to develop and implement effective conservation policies. I synthesized two existing approaches to conceptualizing research impacts. One widely used approach classifies the impacts of research as conceptual, instrumental, and symbolic. Conceptual impacts occur when policy makers are sensitized to new issues and change their beliefs or thinking. Instrumental impacts arise when scientific research has a direct effect on policy decisions. The use of scientific research results to support established policy positions are symbolic impacts. The second approach classifies research issues according to whether scientific knowledge is developed fully and whether the policy issue has been articulated clearly. I believe exercises to identify important research questions have objectives of increasing the clarity of policy issues while strengthening science–policy interactions. This may facilitate the transmission of scientific knowledge to policy makers and, potentially, accelerate the development and implementation of effective conservation policy. Other, similar types of exercises might also be useful. For example, identification of visionary science questions independent of current policy needs, prioritization of best practices for transferring scientific knowledge to policy makers, and identification of questions about human values and their role in political processes could all help advance real-world conservation science. It is crucial for conservation scientists to understand the wide variety of ways in which their research can affect policy and be improved systematically. Resumen: Los científicos de la conservación están preocupados por la aparente falta de impacto de su investigación en la política. Mediante una mejor alineación de la investigación con las necesidades políticas, la ciencia de la conservación puede ser más relevante para la política e incrementar la prominencia en la vida real en la conservación de la diversidad biológica. En consecuencia, algunos científicos de la conservación se han embarcado en una variedad de ejercicios para identificar preguntas de investigación que, si son contestadas, proporcionarían evidencia de base con la cual se podrían desarrollar e implementar políticas de conservación efectivas. Sinteticé dos métodos para la conceptualización de los impactos de la investigación. Un método ampliamente utilizado clasifica los impactos de la investigación en conceptuales, instrumentales y simbólicos. Los impactos conceptuales ocurren cuando los políticos son sensibilizados por temas nuevos y cambian sus creencias o pensamiento. Los impactos instrumentales surgen cuando la investigación científica tiene un efecto directo sobre las decisiones políticas. Los impactos simbólicos consisten en el uso de resultados de la investigación científica para sostener posiciones políticas establecidas. El segundo método clasifica los temas de investigación de acuerdo con si el conocimiento científico es desarrollado totalmente o si el tema político ha sido articulado claramente. Considero que los ejercicios para identificar preguntas de investigación importantes tienen como objetivos incrementar la claridad de los temas políticos al mismo tiempo que se refuerzan las interacciones ciencia-política. Esto puede facilitar la transmisión del conocimiento científico a los políticos y, potencialmente, acelerar el desarrollo e implementación de políticas de conservación efectivas. También pueden ser útiles otros tipos de ejercicios similares. Por ejemplo, la identificación de preguntas científicas visionarias independientes de las necesidades políticas actuales, la priorización de las mejores prácticas de transferencia del conocimiento científico a los políticos e identificación de preguntas sobre valores humanos y su papel en los procesos políticos, podrían ayudar a avanzar en la ciencia de la conservación en el mundo real. Es crucial que los científicos de la conservación comprendan la variedad de formas en la que su investigación puede afectar a la política y que pueda ser mejorada sistemáticamente.
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The presence of pharmaceuticals and endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the environment raises many questions about risk to the environment and risk to human health. Researchers have attributed adverse ecological effect effects to the presence of these compounds, particularly EDCs, though there is no consensus on what risk, if any, these compounds pose to human health. The scientific community is in the process of developing a better understanding of the occurrence, fate, and transport of pharmaceuticals and EDCs in the environment, including a better characterization of human exposure via drinking water. This paper provides a brief review of pharmaceuticals and EDCs in drinking water, as well as uses examples from Lake Mead, Nevada, USA, to highlight the issues associated with their fate and transport. Lastly, the effects of natural or anthropogenically driven processes, like natural seasonal flow or climate-change/prolonged drought are discussed as they are factors which can drastically alter environmental concentrations of these compounds. Without question, the propensity for the contamination of fresh water will rise as (1) human population continues to grow or (2) patterns of natural surface water slow and wastewater becomes a larger fraction of flow further highlighting the need for a more comprehensive understanding of their environmental behavior.
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We identified 100 scientific questions that, if answered, would have the greatest impact on conservation practice and policy. Representatives from 21 international organizations, regional sections and working groups of the Society for Conservation Biology, and 12 academics, from all continents except Antarctica, compiled 2291 questions of relevance to conservation of biological diversity worldwide. The questions were gathered from 761 individuals through workshops, email requests, and discussions. Voting by email to short-list questions, followed by a 2-day workshop, was used to derive the final list of 100 questions. Most of the final questions were derived through a process of modification and combination as the workshop progressed. The questions are divided into 12 sections: ecosystem functions and services, climate change, technological change, protected areas, ecosystem management and restoration, terrestrial ecosystems, marine ecosystems, freshwater ecosystems, species management, organizational systems and processes, societal context and change, and impacts of conservation interventions. We anticipate that these questions will help identify new directions for researchers and assist funders in directing funds.
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Endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) and pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a group of chemical compounds with diverse physical and chemical properties. Recent studies have indicated undesired effects of EDCs and PPCPs at their reported trace concentrations (ng l(-1) to microg l(-1)). This paper reviews the current knowledge on the sources, properties, occurrence and health impacts of EDCs and PPCPs, and their removal from drinking water using ozonation and ozone/hydrogen peroxide-based advanced oxidation. The paper also examines the potential threats posed by these chemicals to drinking water and public health. While these compounds are known to have adverse effects on ecosystem health, notably in the fish population, a similar link is yet to be established between ingestion of these compounds through drinking water and human health. In addition, data on the effectiveness of existing methods for the removal of these compounds are not conclusive. Further studies are required to characterize risks, and also to evaluate and optimize existing removal processes. Also concerted international effort is urgent to cut down the risk of exposure and restrain the production and marketing of toxic chemicals.
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During the last three decades, the impact of chemical pollution has focused almost exclusively on the conventional "priority" pollutants, especially those acutely toxic/carcinogenic pesticides and industrial intermediates displaying persistence in the environment. This spectrum of chemicals, however, is only one piece of the larger puzzle in "holistic" risk assessment. Another diverse group of bioactive chemicals receiving comparatively little attention as potential environmental pollutants includes the pharmaceuticals and active ingredients in personal care products (in this review collectively termed PPCPs), both human and veterinary, including not just prescription drugs and biologics, but also diagnostic agents, "nutraceuticals," fragrances, sun-screen agents, and numerous others. These compounds and their bioactive metabolites can be continually introduced to the aquatic environment as complex mixtures via a number of routes but primarily by both untreated and treated sewage. Aquatic pollution is particularly troublesome because aquatic organisms are captive to continual life-cycle, multigenerational exposure. The possibility for continual but undetectable or unnoticed effects on aquatic organisms is particularly worrisome because effects could accumulate so slowly that major change goes undetected until the cumulative level of these effects finally cascades to irreversible change--change that would otherwise be attributed to natural adaptation or ecologic succession. As opposed to the conventional, persistent priority pollutants, PPCPs need not be persistent if they are continually introduced to surface waters, even at low parts-per-trillion/parts-per-billion concentrations (ng-microg/L). Even though some PPCPs are extremely persistent and introduced to the environment in very high quantities and perhaps have already gained ubiquity worldwide, others could act as if they were persistent, simply because their continual infusion into the aquatic environment serves to sustain perpetual life-cycle exposures for aquatic organisms. This review attempts to synthesize the literature on environmental origin, distribution/occurrence, and effects and to catalyze a more focused discussion in the environmental science community.
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Since the 1980s, the occurrence of pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) as trace environmental pollutants, originating primarily from consumer use and actions rather than manufacturer effluents, continues to become more firmly established. Although PPCPs typically have been identified in surface and ground waters, some are also undoubtedly associated with solid phases such as suspended particulates, sediments, and sewage sludges, despite their relatively high affinity for water. Often amenable to degradation, their continual introduction to waste-receiving waters results from their widespread, continuous, combined use by individuals and domestic animals, giving PPCPs a "pseudo-persistence" in the environment. Little is known about the environmental or human health hazards that might be posed by chronic, subtherapeutic levels of these bioactive substances or their transformation products. The continually growing, worldwide importance of freshwater resources, however, underscores the need for ensuring that any aggregate or cumulative impacts on (or from) water supplies are minimized. Despite the paucity of effects data from long-term, simultaneous exposure at low doses to multiple xenobiotics (particularly non-target-organism exposure to PPCPs), a wide range of proactive actions could be implemented to reduce or minimize the introduction of PPCPs to the environment. Most of these actions fall under what could be envisioned as a holistic stewardship program--overseen by the health care industry and consumers alike. Significantly, such a stewardship program would benefit not just the environment; additional, collateral benefits could automatically accrue, including reducing consumers' medication expenses and improving patient health and consumer safety. In this article, the first of a two-part mini-monograph describing the "green pharmacy," I focus initially on the background behind the imperative for an ecologically oriented stewardship program for PPCPs. I then present a broad spectrum of possible source control/reduction actions, controlled largely by the health care industry, that could minimize the disposition of PPCPs to the environment. This two-part mini-monograph attempts to capture cohesively for the first time the wide spectrum of actions available for minimizing the release of PPCPs to the environment. A major objective is to generate an active dialog or debate across the many disciplines that must become actively involved to design and implement a successful approach to life-cycle stewardship of PPCPs.
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Several recent studies have emphasised the need for a more integrated process in which researchers, policy makers and practitioners interact to identify research priorities. This paper discusses such a process with respect to the UK water sector, detailing how questions were developed through inter-disciplinary collaboration using online questionnaires and a stakeholder workshop. The paper details the 94 key questions arising, and provides commentary on their scale and scope. Prioritization voting divided the nine research themes into three categories: (1) extreme events (primarily flooding), valuing freshwater services, and water supply, treatment and distribution [each >150/1109 votes]; (2) freshwater pollution and integrated catchment management [100-150 votes] and; (3) freshwater biodiversity, water industry governance, understanding and managing demand and communicating water research [50-100 votes]. The biggest demand was for research to improve understanding of intervention impacts in the water environment, while a need for improved understanding of basic processes was also clearly expressed, particularly with respect to impacts of pollution and aquatic ecosystems. Questions that addressed aspects of appraisal, particularly incorporation of ecological service values into decision making, were also strongly represented. The findings revealed that sustainability has entered the lexicon of the UK water sector, but much remains to be done to embed the concept operationally, with key sustainability issues such as resilience and interaction with related key sectors, such as energy and agriculture, relatively poorly addressed. However, the exercise also revealed that a necessary condition for sustainable development, effective communication between scientists, practitioners and policy makers, already appears to be relatively well established in the UK water sector.