Environmental effects of pharmaceuticals

Veterinary pharmaceuticals cure livestock, but they could also harm the environment via the excrements of grazing animals or as manure being applied as fertilizer. Wageningen researchers investigate the effects of pharmaceutical residues on soil and water for waterboards and governments. The environmental effects depend on the pharmaceutical and its dose. Anti-parasitic medication for example leads to high mortality of larvae of flies and dung beetles breeding or feeding on this manure. Other residues leak into the ground water, which may be a problem when this water is used to produce drinking water, or wash away into the surface water possibly affecting water life. Stopping preventive treatments, separate disposal of contaminated manure or group by group treatment of herds could help diminish the environmental effects.