CREW Project “Pharmaceuticals in the water environment: Baseline assessment and recommendations”

The Centre of Expertise for Waters (CREW) commissioned the project assessing baseline data and potential environmental risk of pharmaceuticals in Scotland’s water environment. This research was performed by the James Hutton Institute, Glasgow Caledonian University, and the Environmental Research Institute. Project steering group was the OHBP, including representatives from NHS Highland, Scottish Water, and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency.

This project investigated:

  • Which pharmaceuticals have been detected in Scotland’s water environment between 2014-2019, and at what concentrations. Data was collated into a national database.
  • What pharmaceuticals were detected at concentrations that might pose environmental risks in terms of ecotoxicological effects or assistance in the spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria.
  • Where are knowledge gaps in terms of compounds analysed, spatial representation, and matrix.

All data was collated and transferred into an accessible database which was used for mapping. The CREW phase II project will use the database to develop a visualisation tool.

You can read more about the project outputs on the OHBP website, or directly download the full report and database from the CREW website.

The OHBP will use the data to prioritise which pharmaceutical concentrations to target in up-stream interventions to reduce environmental concentrations, and to monitor whether future activities make a positive impact on environmental pharmaceutical concentrations.