The presence of pharmaceutical compounds in aquatic ecosystems has become a topic of growing concern in the last decade. The occurrence of such emerging contaminants in the aquatic environment originates from:
– the discharge of effluent from urban wastewater treatment plants – containing excreted pharmaceuticals as well as the improper disposal of unused medicines (thrown away into sinks and toilets);
– animal farming and runoff of soils;
– aquaculture facilities;
– industrial and hospital discharges.