Advertisement

Environmental Management

, Volume 64, Issue 4, pp 509–519 | Cite as

Household Pharmaceutical Waste Disposal in Selangor, Malaysia—Policy, Public Perception, and Current Practices

  • Mariani AriffinEmail author
  • Tengku Sahbanun Tengku Zakili
Article

Abstract

Although pharmaceuticals treat illnesses and prevent diseases in humans and animals, ironically, they are now among the emerging pollutants in the environment. As individuals continue to consume medicines, households can become a primary source of pharmaceutical pollutants. This paper explains relevant Malaysian law and policy on the issue. Using a questionnaire survey, it also assesses public perception concerning the environmental impact of pharmaceutical waste and the current methods of disposal that are practiced in Selangor. The survey used a convenience sampling and the data collected were analysed using statistical descriptive analysis. Most of the participants were aware that pharmaceutical waste can have an adverse impact on the environment and public health. Half of the participants disposed of their pharmaceutical waste in trash bins. About 2.9% of the respondents poured their household pharmaceutical waste (HPW) directly down the drain, while 8.8% poured them down the sink in the kitchen or toilet. The study also discovered that while 73.8% of the respondents felt that HPW should be separated from other household solid waste, only 25.2% returned their medicinal waste through the medicine return-back programme. The majority of the respondents (82.5%) agreed that information concerning the proper disposal of HPW is insufficient. The study concludes that while the respondents were aware of the adverse impact of HPW, their practices to ensure proper disposal is discouraging. There is a need for effective unwanted medicines return-back programme as a more prudent disposal method of HPW to avoid any risk to the environment or human health.

Keywords

Emerging pollutants Environmental risks Hazardous waste Regulations Unwanted medicines Waste disposal 

Notes

Acknowledgements

We would like to thank all those who participated in this study. We are grateful for the Trans-Disciplinary Research Grant Scheme (UPM/700-2/1/TRGS/5535712) from the Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia which funded this study.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

References

  1. Abahussain EA, Ball DE, Matowe WC (2006) Practice and Opinion towards disposal of unused medication in Kuwait. Med Princ Pract 15(5):352–357.  https://doi.org/10.1159/000094268 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Agamuthu P, Dennis V (2011) Policy Evolution of solid waste management in Malaysia. International Solid Waste Association Congress 916–924. http://eprints.um.edu.my/id/eprint/12896
  3. Ahmed A, Mushtaq N, Tariq M, Durrani M, Akhtar S, Arif M, Yasmeen G (2007) Disposal practices of unused and expired pharmaceuticals in Karachi and their impact on health and environment. JUMDC 4(2):42–48Google Scholar
  4. Al-Naggar RA, Alareefi A (2010) Patients’ opinion and practice toward unused medication disposal in Malaysia; a qualitative study. Thai J Pharm Sci 34:117–123Google Scholar
  5. Al-Odaini NA, Zakaria MP, Yaziz MI, Surif S, Abdulghani M (2013) The occurrence of human pharmaceuticals in wastewater effluents and surface water of Langat River and its tributaries, Malaysia. Int J Environ Anal Chem 93(3):245–264.  https://doi.org/10.1080/03067319.2011.592949 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Al-Qaim FF, Abdullah MP, Othman MR, Latip J, Afiq WM (2013) Development of analytical method for detection of some pharmaceuticals in surface water. J Pharm Res 12(4):609–616.  https://doi.org/10.4314/tjpr.v12i4.25 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Amaral MJ, Fop L (2013) Unused Pharmaceuticals Where Do They End Up? A snapshot of European Collection Schemes. Health Care Without Harm, EuropeGoogle Scholar
  8. Angi’enda SA, Bukachi SA (2016) Household knowledge and perception on disposal practices of unused medicines in kenya. J Anthropol Archaeol 4(2):1–20.  https://doi.org/10.15640/jaa.v4n2a1 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Ariffin M (2019) Enforcement of environmental pollution control laws: a Malaysian case study. Int J Public Law Policy 6(2):155–169.  https://doi.org/10.1504/IJPLAP.2019.097559 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Ariffin M, Wan Yacoob WNA (2017) Assessment of knowledge, attitude and practice of solid waste open burning in terengganu, malaysia. environment. Asia 10(2):25–32.  https://doi.org/10.14456/ea.2017.18 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Aus der Beek T, Weber FA, Bergmann A, Hickmann S, Ebert I, Hein A, Küster A (2016) Pharmaceuticals in the environment-Global occurrences and perspectives. Environ Toxicol Chem 35(4):823–35. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26666847 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Bain KT(2010) Public health implication of household pharmaceutical waste in the United States Health Serv Insights 3:21–36.  https://doi.org/10.4137/HSI.S4673 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Baresel C, Cousins AP, Ek M, Ejhed H, Allard AS, Magner J et al. (2015) Pharmaceutical residues and other emerging substances in the effluent of sewage treatment plants: Review on concentrations, quantification, behavior, and removal options. Swedish Environmental Research Institute, SwedenGoogle Scholar
  14. Bisceglia KJ (2010) Occurence and fate of pharmaceuticals, illicit drugs, and other emerging contaminants in natural and engineered environments. The Johns Hopkin UniversityGoogle Scholar
  15. Bound JP, Voulvoulis N (2005) Household disposal of pharmaceuticals as a pathway for aquatic contamination in the United Kingdom. Environ Health Perspect 113:1705–1711.  https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.8315 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Chander V, Sharma B, Negi V, Aswal RS, Singh P, Singh R et al. (2016) Pharmaceutical compounds in drinking water. J Xenobiotics 6(5774):1–7.  https://doi.org/10.4081/xeno.2016.5774 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Chin TS (2017) Leftover medications: Throw, flush or reuse? Star2. https://www.star2.com/health/wellness/2017/04/09/extra-drugs-throw-them-flush-them-or-reuse-them/. Accessed 31 Jan 2019
  18. Cyclamed Le Reflexe (2014) Annual Report 2014. http://www.cyclamed.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/06/Rapport-annuel-v-anglaiseHD-.pdf. Accessed 4 Mar 2019
  19. Department of Statistic Malaysia (2019) Time Series Data. Employed persons by educational attainment, Malaysia/states, 1982–2018. Department of Statistics Malaysia, Putrajaya. https://www.dosm.gov.my/v1/uploads/files/3_Time%20Series/LFS_1982-2018/06.TABLE_6.pdf. Accessed 15 June 2019
  20. Department of Statistic, Malaysia (2018) Selected Demographic Indicators Malaysia, 2018. Department of Statistics, Malaysia, MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  21. Economic Planning Unit (2010) Tenth Malaysia Plan 2011–2015. Economic Planning Unit, PutrajayaGoogle Scholar
  22. Fenech C, Rock L, Nolan K, Morrissey A (2013) Attitudes towards the use and disposal of unused medications in two European Countries. Waste Manag 33(2):259–261.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.wasman.2012.12.018 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Hinton PR, Brownlow C, Mcmurry I, Cozens B (2004) SPSS explained. Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York, NYCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Inglezakis VJ, Moustakas K (2015) Household hazardous waste management: A review. J Environ Manag 150:310–321.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2014.11.021 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Krejcie RV, Morgan DW(1970) Determining sample size for research activities. Educ Psychol Meas 30(3):607–610.  https://doi.org/10.1177/001316447003000308 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kusturica MP, Sabo A, Tomic Z, Horvat O, Solak Z (2012) Storage and disposal of unused medications: knowledge, behavior, and attitudes among Serbian people. Int J Clin Pharm 34:604–610.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s11096-012-9652-0 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Li WC (2014) Occurrence, sources, and fate of pharmaceuticals in aquatic environment and soil. Environ Pollut 187:193–201.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envpol.2014.01.015 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Lifset R, Atasu A, Tojo N (2013) Extended Producer Responsibility. J Ind Ecol 17(2):162–166.  https://doi.org/10.1111/jiec.12022 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Lim MT (2016) Disposal practices of unused and unwanted medications among in a tertiary hospital. Educ Med J 8(3):49–59.  https://doi.org/10.5959/eimj.v8i3.453 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Lubick N (2010) Drugs in the Environment: Do Pharmaceutical Take-Back Programs Make a Difference? Environ Health Perspect 118(5):A210–A214.  https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.118-a210 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Macarthur D (2000) Any old drugs? Two schemes for the disposal of unwanted medicines in Europe. Pharm J 264(7082):223–224Google Scholar
  32. Massoud MA, Chami G, Al-Hindi M, Alameddine I (2016) Assessment of Household Disposal of Pharmaceuticals in Lebanon: Management Options to Protect Water Quality and Public Health. Environ Manag 57:1125–1137.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-016-0666-6 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Ministry of Health Malaysia (2017) Malaysian statistics on medicines 2011-2014. Pharmaceutical Services Division, Ministry of Health MalaysiaGoogle Scholar
  34. Moran KD (2004) Household pharmaceutical waste: regulatory and management issues. In Household pharmaceutical waste: regulatory and management issues. TDC Environmental, LLC. http://www.tdcenvironmental.com/HouseholdPharmWasteMgtIssuesFinal.pdf. Accessed 18 June 2019
  35. Murdoch D (2015) Pharmaceutical Pollution in the Environment: Issue for Australia, New Zealand and Pacific Island countries. National Toxics Network, BangalowGoogle Scholar
  36. Musson SE, Townsend T, Seaburg K, Mousa J (2007) A Continuous Collection System for Household Pharmaceutical Wastes: A Pilot Project. J Air Waste Manag Assoc 57(7):828–835.  https://doi.org/10.3155/1047-3289.57.7.828 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Persson M, Sabelstrom E, Gunnarsson B (2009) Handling of unused prescription drugs — knowledge, behaviour and attitude among Swedish people. Environ Int 35(5):771–774.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2008.10.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Pharmaceutical Service Division (2016) Garis panduan Program Pemulangan Ubat (Edisi 3: 2016). Ministry of Health Malaysia (trans. Pharmaceutical Service Division (2016) Guideline of Return Your Medicines Program (Edition 3: 2016). Ministry of Health Malaysia) Google Scholar
  39. Praveena SM, Shaifuddin SN, Sukiman S, Nasir FA, Hanafi Z, Kamarudin N, Ismail THT, Aris AZ (2018) Pharmaceuticals residues in selected tropical surface water bodies from Selangor (Malaysia): Occurrence and potential risk assessments. Sci Total Environ 642:230–240.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.06.058 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Pruden A, Larsson DJ, Amézquita A, Collignon P, Brandt KK, Graham DW, Lazorchak JM, Suzuki S, Silley P, Snape JR, Topp E, Zhang T, Zhu Y (2013) Management options for reducing the release of antibiotics and antibiotic resistance genes to the environment. Environ Health Perspect 121(8):878–885.  https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.1206446 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. Rogowska J, Zimmermann A, Muszynska A, Ratajczyk W, Wolska L (2019) Pharmaceutical Household Waste Practices: Preliminary Findings from a Case Study in Poland. Environ Manag 64(1):97–106.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-019-01174-7 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Seow TW, Abas MA, Mohamed S, Goh KC, Zainal R (2017) Good governance in national solid waste management policy implementation: A case study Malaysia. AIP Conference Proceeding 1891:020128.  https://doi.org/10.1063/1.5005461
  43. Chung S, Brooks BW (2019) Identifying household pharmaceutical waste characteristics and population behaviors in one of the most densely populated global cities. Resour, Conserv Recycl 140:267–277.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2018.09.024
  44. Singh MP, Singh A, Alam G, Patel R, Datt N (2012) Safe management of household Pharmaceuticals: An overview. J Pharm Res 5(5):2623–2626. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/247158559 Google Scholar
  45. Slack RJ, Gronow JR, Voulvoulis N (2005) Household hazardous waste inn municipal landfill: contaminants in leachate. Sci total Environ 337:119–137.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2004.07.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. Sokač DG, Stanić MH, Bušić V, Zobundžija D (2017) Occurrence of pharmaceuticals in surface water. Croat J Food Sci Technol 9(2):204–210.  https://doi.org/10.17508/CJFST.2017.9.2.18 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Stoddard KI, Hodge V, Maxey G, Tiwari C, Cready C, Huggett DB (2017) Investigating Research Gaps of Pharmaceutical take back Events: An Analysis of take back Program Participants’ Socioeconomic, Demographic, and Geographic Characteristics and the Public Health Benefits of take back Programs. Environ Manag 59(6):871–884.  https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-017-0834-3 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Yang SL, Tan SL, Goh QL, Liau SY (2018) Utilization of Ministry of Health Medication Return Programme, Knowledge and Disposal Practice of Unused Medication in Malaysia. J Pharm Pract Community Med 4(1):7–11.  https://doi.org/10.5530/jppcm.2018.1.3
  49. Suppiah VL (2016) Malaysia’s MOH: Excess medicines to be returned to government healthcare institutions. MIMS Today. https://today.mims.com/malaysia-s-moh--excess-medicines-to-be-returned-to-government-healthcare-institutions. Accessed 15 Aug 2018
  50. Tong AYC, Peake BM, Braund R (2011) Disposal practices for unused medications around the world. Environ Int 37(1):292–298.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.envint.2010.10.002 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Malaysia (2008) Malaysia developing a solid waste management model for Penang. United Nations Development Programme, Kuala LumpurGoogle Scholar
  52. Wheeler AJ, Kelly F, Spinks J, Bettington E (2016) National Return and Disposal of Unwanted Medicines Project Audit 2016: Final Report. Griffith University, BrisbaneGoogle Scholar
  53. Wieczorkiewicz SM, Kassamali Z, Danziger LH(2013) Behind Closed Doors: Medication Storage and Disposal in the Home. Ann Pharmacother 47(4):482–489.  https://doi.org/10.1345/aph.1R706 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  54. World Health Organization (1999) Guidelines for safe disposal of unwanted pharmaceuticals in and after emergencies. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  55. World Health Organization (2015) Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance. World Health Organization, GenevaGoogle Scholar
  56. Zhou JL, Zhang ZL, Banks E, Grover D, Jiang JQ (2009) Pharmaceutical residues in wastewater treatment works effluents and their impact on receiving river water. Hazard Mater 166:655–661.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2008.11.070 CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Environmental Management, Faculty of Environmental StudiesUniversiti Putra MalaysiaUPM Serdang, SelangorMalaysia

Personalised recommendations