Ecological Risk Assessment of Pharmaceuticals in the Surface Water Near a Pharmaceutical Manufacturing Complex in Korea

제약단지 인접 지역 지표수의 잔류 의약물질 생태위해성평가

  • Park, Suhyun (Institute of Natural Science, Yongin University) ;
  • Kang, Habyeong (School of Public Health, Seoul National University) ;
  • Shin, Hyesoo (School of Public Health, Seoul National University) ;
  • Ryoo, Ilhan (Department of Health, Environment & Safety, Eulji University) ;
  • Choi, Kyungho (School of Public Health, Seoul National University) ;
  • Kho, Younglim (Department of Health, Environment & Safety, Eulji University) ;
  • Park, Kyunghwa (National Institute of Environmental Research) ;
  • Kim, Kyungtae (National Institute of Environmental Research) ;
  • Ji, Kyunghee (Department of Occupational and Environmental Health, Yongin University)
  • 박수현 (용인대학교 자연과학연구소) ;
  • 강하병 (서울대학교 보건대학원) ;
  • 신혜수 (서울대학교 보건대학원) ;
  • 유일한 (용인대학교 산업환경보건학과) ;
  • 최경호 (서울대학교 보건대학원) ;
  • 고영림 (을지대학교 보건환경안전학과) ;
  • 박경화 (국립환경과학원) ;
  • 김경태 (국립환경과학원) ;
  • 지경희 (용인대학교 산업환경보건학과)
  • Received : 2019.12.09
  • Accepted : 2020.01.23
  • Published : 2020.02.29


Objectives: Limited information is available on the presence and associated ecological risks of pharmaceutical residues in aquatic environments near pharmaceutical manufacturing areas in Korea. In this study, we investigated the current state of pharmaceutical contamination and its associated ecological risks in streams near a pharmaceutical manufacturing complex. Methods: Seven pharmaceuticals (acetaminophen, clarithromycin, diclofenac, diphenhydramine, ibuprofen, mefenamic acid and roxithromycin) were measured in water samples collected from the streams near a pharmaceutical manufacturing complex. A predicted no-effect concentration (PNEC) was derived using either the assessment factor method or species sensitivity distribution method. In addition, a hazard quotient for each pharmaceutical was calculated by dividing its measured environmental concentration by its PNEC. Results: Samples collected downstream from the wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) had higher concentrations of pharmaceuticals than those collected from the reference site (upstream). Moreover, pharmaceutical concentrations were greater in ambient water than in the final effluent from the WWTP, which suggested that non-point sources were contributing to the contamination of the ambient water environment. Some of the target pharmaceuticals exhibited a hazard quotient >1, indicating that their potential ecological effects on the aquatic environment near the pharmaceutical industrial area should not be ignored. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the pharmaceutical manufacturing area was contaminated with residual drugs, and that there was a possible non-point source near the WWTP effluent discharge area. The results of this study will aid in the development of management plans for pharmaceuticals, particularly in hotspots such as pharmaceutical industrial sites and their vicinities.


Supported by : 국립환경과학원


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