Pharmaceutical products as emerging contaminant in water: relevance for developing nations and identification of critical compounds for Indian environment

  • Prakash Chinnaiyan
  • Santosh G. Thampi
  • Mathava Kumar
  • K. M. Mini


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) are contaminants of emerging concern and have been detected worldwide in water bodies in trace concentrations. Most of these emerging contaminants are not regulated in water quality standards except a few in the developed countries. In the case of developing countries, research in this direction is at a nascent stage. For the effective management of Pharmaceutical contaminants (PC) in developing countries, the relevance of PCs as an emerging contaminant has to be analyzed followed by regular monitoring of the environment. Considering the resource constraints, this could be accomplished by identifying the priority compounds which is again region specific and dependent on consumption behavior and pattern. In this work, relevance of pharmaceutical compound as emerging contaminant in water for a developing country like India is examined by considering the data pertaining to pharmaceutical consumption data. To identify the critical Pharmaceutical Contaminants to be monitored in the Indian environment, priority compounds from selected prioritization methods were screened with the compounds listed in National List of Essential Medicine (NLEM), India. Further, information on the number of publications on the compound as an emerging contaminant, data on monitoring studies in India and the number of brands marketing the compound in India were also analyzed. It is found that out of 195 compounds from different prioritization techniques, only 77 compounds were found relevant to India based on NLEM sorting.


Pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) Pharmaceutical contaminants (PC) Emerging contaminants Developing country India Critical pharmaceutical contaminants 


Funding information

This work was supported through a grant from Amrita University internal funding, IFRP/30/PPCP. The authors acknowledge the support of entire PPCP research group members of Amrita University.

Supplementary material

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Civil EngineeringNIT CalicutKozhikodeIndia
  2. 2.Department of Civil Engineering, Amrita School of EngineeringAmrita Vishwa VidyapeethamCoimbatoreIndia
  3. 3.Environmental and Water Resources Engineering Division, Department of Civil EngineeringIIT MadrasChennaiIndia

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