Screening to know more
Active pharmaceutical ingredients (API) are part of any medicine that produces its effects, e.g. hormones, analgesics and antibiotics. In accordance with a report by HELCOM on pharmaceutical concentrations and effects in the Baltic Sea (2016), active pharmaceutical ingredients are among a major emerging pollutants, making it a common challenge to the countries around the Baltic Sea.
15 partners from Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland, Sweden work together in the project CWPharma to develop common solutions to the identified challenge. In order to do that, the partnership started screening active pharmaceutical ingredients in six river basin districts to get a better picture of the sources, emissions and environmental concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea region. Based on the results, CWPharma develops tools and recommendations to policy makers, authorities and municipalities on the best ways to reduce emissions of APIs in the Baltic Sea region.
“We have already collected samples from six river basins and several wastewater treatment plants in Estonia, Finland, Germany, Latvia, Poland and Sweden. The aim of the screening is to estimate the overall pharmaceutical emissions in the Baltic Sea region,” says project manager Noora Perkola of the Finnish Environment Institute.
“We are currently analysing the samples in our laboratories in Helsinki to screen approximately 80 active pharmaceutical ingredients. This is the first time such a wide screening will be made in a systematic way from varying samples and from various countries so that the results are truly comparable and can be used to get a good estimate of the emissions and potential hotspots.”