Risk Assessment of Cytostatics in the Aquatic Environment
Cytostatic drugs—anticancer drugs also known as antineoplastics—are compounds that are highly toxic in low concentrations at both the cellular and DNA levels. Statistics show that their use is increasing by 10% every year. Although these pharmaceuticals are largely administered in hospitals, an increasing number of patients go home after treatment, meaning that eliminated cytostatic compounds may end up in municipal wastewater. Several studies have demonstrated that conventional wastewater treatment facilities are ineffective in treating cytostatic compounds, and very little degradation occurs. Consequently, these compounds’ presence in the environment could increase in the near future, posing a risk to exposed organisms.