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Assessing and Managing the Impacts of Pharmaceutical Waste on the Environment in York

Mohamed Yunus, Siti Syuhaida (2019) Assessing and Managing the Impacts of Pharmaceutical Waste on the Environment in York. PhD thesis, University of York.

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Abstract

The growth in pharmaceutical production and the subsequent increase in dispensing from healthcare facilities have influenced the generation of pharmaceutical waste globally, including inappropriate disposal of unused medicine from households. Unused medications from household waste can ultimately end up in landfills or released to the wastewater system. This aims of this PhD was to assess the impacts of existing and potential future pharmaceutical waste disposal practices and management options to provide the knowledge base to better manage the impacts of pharmaceutical waste disposal in the future. A consumer survey was initially performed to understand how the public disposes of unused medicines from households and to discover the most commonly consumed medicines in the UK. The methods used for disposal of unused medications from households were identified as rubbish disposal, returning to the pharmacy and pouring or throwing down the toilet or sink. A life cycle assessment (LCA) of pharmaceutical waste disposal was performed to estimate the environmental impacts of the different disposal methods for unused medicines. Returning unused medicines to the pharmacy contributed the lowest impact to the toxicity-related impacts and incineration is the after-treatment that is commonly used for this disposal option. A further investigation of the impact and risk of individual active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) to the environment was carried out to identify the most appropriate disposal methods for the 41 APIs. The results showed that four of 41 APIs classified as high-risk to the environment: cetrimide, acetylsalicylic acid, loratadine and benzalkonium chloride. Finally, a new pyrolysis-based approach for the treatment of unused medicines disposal treatment was evaluated. An LCA performed to compare the impacts of emissions from centralised pyrolysis and on-site pyrolysis for disposal of unused medicines disposal. The results showed that on-site pyrolysis has lower impacts compared to centralised pyrolysis.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Life Cycle Assessment, Pharmaceutical Waste
Academic Units: The University of York > Environment (York)
Depositing User: Ms Siti Syuhaida Mohamed Yunus
Date Deposited: 26 Jun 2020 23:46
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2020 23:46
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/26898

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