More than 200 pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCPs) have been found in samples of waste water treatment plant effluent and receiving waters throughout the world. Deterministic and probabilistic risk characterization methods were used to rank these PPCPs with regards to their potential risk to aquatic receptors. 14 PPCPs were ranked medium to very high priority, and included the following classes: analgesics, antibiotics, cardiovascular drugs, musks, and hormones. The chemical ranked highest was the synthetic hormone 1 7-a-ethinylestradiol. Despite these findings, some uncertainty exists in the ranking, due to data gaps for aquatic toxicity reference values. Thus, future research in this area should focus on aquatic toxicity studies. The findings of this assessment can be used in future studies by focusing on chemicals identified as high priority and placing fewer resources toward those chemicals that appear to be of little environmental concern with regards to the protection of aquatic life.
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