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Widespread pollution by pharmaceuticals should be addressed internationally at SAICM

The Strategic Approach to International Chemicals Management (SAICM) is a policy framework to promote chemical safety around the world. SAICM has as its overall objective the achievement of the sound management of chemicals throughout their life cycle so that, by 2020, chemicals are produced and used in ways that minimize significant adverse impacts on human health and the environment.

CHEM Trust is very supportive of SAICM’s work, and we have just submitted our views into a discussion about environmental pollution from pharmaceutical products (medicines).

Pharmaceutical chemicals are widely used globally for therapeutic purposes, including the treatment of disease in humans, as well as in domesticated companion animals and in livestock used for food production. Residues from pharmaceuticals can persist in the environment and residues can now be found in drinking water. They are also found in fish and other organisms in the wild, where they may accumulate.

More than 630 different pharmaceutical chemicals have been found to occur in the natural environment; some may have endocrine disrupting activity or other toxic effects.

In CHEM Trust’s view, pharmaceutical pollutants should be accepted as a global emerging issue under SAICM, so as to foster international exchange on the best ways to tackle this growing problem.