Priority pharmaceutical micropollutants and feasible management initiatives to control water pollution from the perspective of stakeholders in Metropolis of southern Brazil

Demian Da Silveira Barcellos*, Karin Helwig, Ronald Gervasoni, Paul Teedon, Gustavo Rafael Collere Possetti, Harry Alberto Bollmann

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The search for common agreement between stakeholders is one of the biggest challenges when solving environmental problems. There are different views, perceptions, knowledge, and sectoral goals for these stakeholders. In complex environmental problems, such as the management of pharmaceutical micropollutants, it is essential to establish the intersectoral and individual sector priorities for a collective approach to the problem. This research aimed to identify the priority micropollutants for intervention initiatives and the management goals of the stakeholders involved in the “product chain” of pharmaceuticals in the region of Curitiba, Brazil. First, the most consumed pharmaceutical micropollutants in the region and those previously detected in water were identified, and a “long list” of 40 pharmaceuticals was drawn up for stakeholder prioritization. Stakeholders of the region were selected by intentional sampling and were invited to a workshop that was designed to list, by consensus, the priority micropollutants and objectives for their management. The event was attended by 37 stakeholders from different sectors. It was divided into 2 stages: the 1st stage was a multisectoral discussion to select the priority pharmaceutical micropollutants; the 2nd stage was a sectoral discussion to establish management objectives to control and reduce the presence of these pollutants in waters. The meeting generated a coherent prioritization of pharmaceuticals where ethinyl estradiol, ciprofloxacin, ibuprofen, diclofenac, estradiol, caffeine, and fluoxetine were prioritized and their importance was justified. The main sectoral goals prioritized were related to the drug take-back program, the characterization of the presence of pharmaceuticals in the sanitation cycle, and the creation of a permanent multisector discussion environment for the theme. The multisectoral definition, established by consensus, of management priorities is promising and this strategic approach can be replicated in other developing countries. Integr Environ Assess Manag 2020;00:1–13. © 2020 SETAC.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalIntegrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Early online date17 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17 Jun 2020

Keywords

  • pharmaceutical micropollutants
  • prioritization process
  • water management
  • stakeholder engagement
  • urban environmental management

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