Analytical and Bioanalytical Chemistry

, Volume 387, Issue 4, pp 1225–1234 | Cite as

Occurrence patterns of pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater environments



The occurrence of pharmaceuticals and their metabolites and transformation products in the environment is becoming a matter of concern, because these compounds, which may have adverse effects on living organisms, are extensively and increasingly used in human and veterinary medicine and are released continuously into the environment. A variety of pharmaceuticals have been detected in many environmental samples worldwide. Their occurrence has been reported in sewage-treatment-plant effluents, surface water, seawater, groundwater, soil, sediment and fish. This paper provides an overview of recent scientific research on the sources, occurrence, and fate of pharmaceuticals in water and wastewater.


Pharmaceuticals Drugs Wastewater Surface water Groundwater 



This review has been inspired by EU COST Action 636 “Xenobiotics in the Urban Water Cycle” in which the authors participate.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anastasia Nikolaou
    • 1
  • Sureyya Meric
    • 2
  • Despo Fatta
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Marine Sciences, Faculty of Environment, University of the AegeanUniversity HillMytileneGreece
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of SalernoFisciano (SA)Italy
  3. 3.GAIA, Laboratory of Environmental Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental EngineeringUniversity of CyprusNicosiaCyprus

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