Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) in the freshwater aquatic environment

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Colleges, School and Institutes


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are a unique group of emerging environmental contaminants, due to their inherent ability to induce physiological effects in human at low doses. An increasing number of studies has confirmed the presence of various PPCPs in different environmental compartments, which raises concerns about the potential adverse effects to humans and wildlife. Therefore, this article reviews the current state-of-knowledge on PPCPs in the freshwater aquatic environment. The environmental risk posed by these contaminants is evaluated in light of the persistence, bioaccumulation and toxicity criteria. Available literature on the sources, transport and degradation of PPCPs in the aquatic environment are evaluated, followed by a comprehensive review of the reported concentrations of different PPCP groups in the freshwater aquatic environment (water, sediment and biota) of the five continents. Finally, future perspectives for research on PPCPs in the freshwater aquatic environment are discussed in light of the identified research gaps in current knowledge.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-16
Number of pages16
JournalEmerging Contaminants
Issue number1
Early online date4 Jan 2017
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017


  • Aquatic environment, Biaccumulation, Fate and behaviour, Persistence, Pharmaceuticals and personal care products, Sediment, WWTPs

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