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      Health risks associated with the pharmaceuticals in wastewater

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          Abstract

          The overwhelming population growth in recent decades and water crisis along with limited and uneven geographical distribution of fresh water resources is a growing challenge for the economic and human development. Wastewater reclamation and use could be an alternative for intact water sources and a promising solution to water scarcity and unequal distribution. However, wastewater is a double-edged resource both as an accessible water source for food production and human usage and concurrently may carry uncharacterized content with unknown toxicological profile causing acute or long-term health risks. Pharmaceuticals, cosmeceuticals, nanomaterials and their chemical decomposition derivatives found in wastewater are not well known in many cases. Their unknown toxicity, teratogenicity and carcinogenicity profile associated with lack of monitoring and control measures impose a significant hazard risk on the public health. This paper reviews the evidence on the health risks associated with the wastewater use for irrigated food production and the imposed risk on the end consumers mainly from pharmaceutical industry and related research facilities. Then, we suggest an applied framework for planning and policy-making to mitigate the health risks and optimally employ reclaimed wastewater for human purposes.

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          Most cited references 67

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          Occurrence of drugs in German sewage treatment plants and rivers1Dedicated to Professor Dr. Klaus Haberer on the occasion of his 70th birthday.1

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            NANOMATERIALS IN THE ENVIRONMENT: BEHAVIOR, FATE, BIOAVAILABILITY, AND EFFECTS

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              Safety assessment for nanotechnology and nanomedicine: concepts of nanotoxicology.

              Nanotechnology, nanomedicine and nanotoxicology are complementary disciplines aimed at the betterment of human life. However, concerns have been expressed about risks posed by engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), their potential to cause undesirable effects, contaminate the environment and adversely affect susceptible parts of the population. Information about toxicity and biokinetics of nano-enabled products combined with the knowledge of unintentional human and environmental exposure or intentional delivery for medicinal purposes will be necessary to determine real or perceived risks of nanomaterials. Yet, results of toxicological studies using only extraordinarily high experimental doses have to be interpreted with caution. Key concepts of nanotoxicology are addressed, including significance of dose, dose rate, and biokinetics, which are exemplified by specific findings of ENM toxicity, and by discussing the importance of detailed physico-chemical characterization of nanoparticles, specifically surface properties. Thorough evaluation of desirable versus adverse effects is required for safe applications of ENMs, and major challenges lie ahead to answer key questions of nanotoxicology. Foremost are assessment of human and environmental exposure, and biokinetics or pharmacokinetics, identification of potential hazards, and biopersistence in cells and subcellular structures to perform meaningful risk assessments. A specific example of multiwalled carbon nanotubes (MWCNT) illustrates the difficulty of extrapolating toxicological results. MWCNT were found to cause asbestos-like effects of the mesothelium following intracavitary injection of high doses in rodents. The important question of whether inhaled MWCNT will translocate to sensitive mesothelial sites has not been answered yet. Even without being able to perform a quantitative risk assessment for ENMs, due to the lack of sufficient data on exposure, biokinetics and organ toxicity, until we know better it should be made mandatory to prevent exposure by appropriate precautionary measures/regulations and practicing best industrial hygiene to avoid future horror scenarios from environmental or occupational exposures. Similarly, safety assessment for medical applications as key contribution of nanotoxicology to nanomedicine relies heavily on nano-specific toxicological concepts and findings and on a multidisciplinary collaborative approach involving material scientists, physicians and toxicologists.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                00982164122319 , Mohammad@TUMS.Ac.Ir , Mohammad.Abdollahi@UToronto.Ca
                Journal
                Daru
                Daru
                DARU Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences
                BioMed Central (London )
                1560-8115
                2008-2231
                12 April 2017
                12 April 2017
                2017
                : 25
                Affiliations
                [1 ]GRID grid.411705.6, Department of Toxicology and Pharmacology, Faculty of Pharmacy, , Tehran University of Medical Sciences, ; Tehran, Iran
                [2 ]GRID grid.411705.6, Toxicology and Diseases Group, Pharmaceutical Sciences Research Center, , Tehran University of Medical Sciences, ; Tehran, Iran
                Article
                176
                10.1186/s40199-017-0176-y
                5389172
                © The Author(s). 2017

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated.

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                © The Author(s) 2017

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