Tiny pharmaceuticals in the environment

Fear is a bad counselor. In the comic book series “Asterix,” the Gaul chief Vitalstatistix may be afraid that the sky may fall on his head. In the real world, however, risks should be assessed with a clear mind. To ensure that risk assessments are not carried out emotionally but lead to appropriate decisions, scientists use models to analyze the hazard potential of substances or technologies. Empa researchers are currently investigating the risks of a relatively new class of substances made from tiny materials: drugs manufactured using nanomaterials. It is already known that conventional pharmaceuticals can be released into the environment after being administered or ingested. In the animal world, for example, hormone-like substances can lead to thin-shelled bird eggs, fertility disorders in fish and population declines in otters. Continue reading at Physorg