Medical residues may damage our joint environment
Worldwide, our examination and treatment of diseases is improving. Among other things, the improvements are caused by our use of medicine, which continues to rise. Medicine saves lives. But the use of medicine in the health care systems potentially has a negative side effect on the well-being of our joint environment. Studies indicate that medical residues, which are flushed into the toilet, may have negative consequences on our aquatic environment – and in the long run, these consequences may affect wildlife as well as the environmental flora.
Many types of medication contain chemicals that cannot be properly cleansed in sewage treatment plants. In Denmark, 150.000 patients are going through chemotherapy annually, where a cytostatic agent is used as treatment. Moreover, the use of contrast agent has become a common medium for a many types of examinations in the health care systems in various countries. These types of medication contain chemicals, which secrete through bodily wastes from patients undergoing medical treatment. This means that toxic chemicals from medical residues are flushed into the toilet and out in nature through our waste water on a daily basis.
Medical residues may have unknown consequences for the environment
The full consequences of medical residues in nature are not yet known1. Though, research show that medical residues have a negative effect on wildlife, such as birds and fish2. Hereby, there is much reason to believe that medicine residues in waste water may have negative consequences on both flora and fauna.
For many years, the issue of medical residues in waste water has been a discussion primarily reserved for scientists and environmentalists. In spring 2019, the environmental discussion moved to Brussels. In march 2019, The European Commission constructed a proposale, which seeks to create a strategic approach to the pollution of water by pharmaceutical substances. The aim is to investigate, which actions should be taken in order to address the potential risk of pharmaceutical residues in the environment3.
EcoMedicineCare – prevents medical residues from entering the aquatic environment
We wish to contribute to better preservation of our joint environment. Hereby, in collaboration with The Capital Region of Denmark’s Hospital Pharmacy, we developed EcoMedicineCare - a revolutionary toilet bag, which collects medical residues and prevents the introduction to the aquatic environment, wildlife and plants.
Do you want to learn more?
We have gathered research done by multiple sources, showing the extent of the problem: