Pharmaceutical residues in senior residences wastewaters: High loads, emerging risks

Silvia Lacorte, Cristian Gómez-Canela, Carole Calas-Blanchard

Research output: Indexed journal article Articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


Senior residences are health-care facilities that are socially-accepted for the assistance of elderly people. Since the elderly account for the foremost pharmaceutical-consuming age-group, senior residences become a hot-spot for pharmaceuticals discharge to the sewage grid. The objectives of the present study were to identify the bioactive pharmaceuticals in sewage waters from senior residences and to propose an on-site monitoring strategy for their control. In this study, we have studied the presence of 43 pharmaceuticals highly consumed by the elderly population in six senior residences located in Spain, France and Portugal. Wastewater was sampled directly from the water-chest in each residence during different times of the day throughout one week. Main compounds detected at the high µg L−1 level were analgesic and antipyretic drugs such as acetylsalicylic acid, paracetamol, ibuprofen; antibiotics such as amoxicillin and sulfamethoxazole; compounds for the treatment of neuropathies as gabapentin, trazodone and valsartan; pharmaceuticals for the treatment of diabetes (vildagliptin) and anticancer drugs. The daily loads discharged were estimated and their fate was evaluated. The final objective of this study is to highlight the need to implement at-source waste water treatment procedures in senior residences, which have been identified as a point source pollution of pharmaceuticals.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5047
Issue number16
Publication statusPublished - 2 Aug 2021


  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Senior residences
  • Sewage grid
  • Wastewater


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