Japanese Health Ministry to monitor effect drugs have on ecosystems
12 Jul 2004
Source: Medical News Today
The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry, Japan, is planning to draw up guidelines to evaluate the possible effect that medicines can have on aquatic creatures and ecosystems, ministry sources said.
It was decided that there was a need for the guidelines after concerns were raised that some medical products contain biotoxins and other substances that can harm the environment and can threaten marine life when discarded or released into waterways and rivers through human waste after usage.
Possible side effects drugs have on humans have been examined before, but the new guidelines will incorporate the possible impact medicines may have on various ecosystems from an environmental preservation perspective, the sources said.
The guidelines would stipulate methods for calculating and assessing the concentrations of medicines discharged into rivers and the environment, and the impact such medicines could have on aquatic life. Continues....the Daily Yomiuri