Seminar March 11, 2015 - UMC GroningenMedicines in waste water, boomerang or no problem?
During this seminar people from the health and water sectors gathered to discuss the topic of medicines in wastewater.
In short, we learned that concentrations of medicines in hospital wastewater are higher than in sewage, yet hospitals have a small contribution to the load of pharmaceuticals in the environment (about 10%). Lowering the load of medicines in the environment can be done at the source by means of more personalized medicine and green pharmacy.
Low concentrations (µg/L) of antibiotics in water are potentially more dangerous than high concentrations (mg/L), since they do not kill bacteria but can induce the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). Further, killing of AMR bacteria may not be sufficient to prevent the spread of AMR but it is also important to eliminate mobile genetic elements containing AMR information, especially in hospitals.
Development of technological solutions can only be really effective if social/psychological aspects are taken into consideration.
The integration of water and health care sectors in such an interactive day was the biggest success of this seminar.