Life cycle impacts and environmental fate of pharmaceuticals: The fate of APIs

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The fate of APIs

Pharmaceuticals, their metabolites and products of incomplete degradation are present in the environment and their fate and effects are not yet fully understood.[1]  Building upon the previous lesson on Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, this module looks more in depth at the fate of APIs including routes into the environment, adsorption and decomposition pathways including case studies on the breakdown products of several specific APIs.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this module you should:

  • Be aware of concerns surrounding pharmaceuticals in the environment;
  • Understand the different routes by which pharmaceuticals enter the environment;
  • Be aware of strategies to reduce environmental impact of pharmaceuticals in the environment;

and be able to:

  • Describe the fate of APIs in the environment in terms of their adsorption and decomposition pathways;
  • Describe sub-structures in molecules that can give rise to persistence in the environment.
  1. K. Kümmerer, Presence, Fate and Risks of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment, in Green and Sustainable Medicinal Chemistry: Methods, Tools and Strategies for the 21st Century Pharmaceutical Industry, L. Summerton, H. F. Sneddon, L. C. Jones and J. H. Clark, Royal Society of Chemistry, Cambridge, UK, 2016, ch. 6, pp. 63-72.