Assessment of pharmaceuticals fate in a model environment

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A multiphase model based on the Mackaytype level II fugacity model has been used to predict the behaviour and final environmental concentrations of some of the more consumed pharmaceuticals in Spain. The model takes into account the mean rate of consumption of pharmaceuticals, the percentage of pharmaceutical metabolised, the formation of the corresponding glucuronide, which is assumed to be hydrolysed back to the parent molecule, the partial degradation of each pharmaceutical in a conventional sewage treatment plant, and the fate of these substances in a regional model environmental system. Predicted environmental concentrations in air, water, soil, sediments and suspended matter, and the corresponding residence time for each pharmaceutical have been obtained by application of the model. The predicted concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the water phase are of the same order than the measured experimentally, showing that the simple model used to predict the environmental concentrations is suitable for modelling the environmental fate of high water soluble and low volatile organic compounds such as pharmaceuticals products. © Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)413-422
JournalWater, Air, and Soil Pollution
Issue number1-4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2011


  • Multiphase model
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Predicted environmental concentration


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