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Linking emerging contaminants to production and consumption practices

Johnson, Charlotte; Bell, Sarah J; (2022) Linking emerging contaminants to production and consumption practices. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Water , Article e1615. 10.1002/wat2.1615. (In press). Green open access

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Abstract

Emerging contaminants (ECs) associated with consumer products such as pharmaceuticals, personal care products, and plastics, are an issue of growing concern for water quality and human and environmental health. Growth in use of products associated with ECs is an outcome of growing populations, increased incomes and the emergence of new consumer products. Two examples are used illustrate the value of social science research in understanding patterns of consumption and sources of ECs, in order to identify potential interventions to reduce ECs in the environment—flushing inappropriate materials down the toilet, and antibiotic use in global livestock production. Antimicrobial resistance is a major policy driver to control the use of antibiotics in human healthcare and livestock production. Global antibiotic consumption increased 65% 2000–2015. Disposal of products, including unused pharmaceuticals and plastics, is influenced by regulation, consumer behavior, and infrastructure. This range of factors and trends demonstrates the complexity in understanding why ECs enter the aquatic environment and the extent that the issue can be tackled at the source rather than mitigated once in the environment.

Type: Article
Title: Linking emerging contaminants to production and consumption practices
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/wat2.1615
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/wat2.1615
Language: English
Additional information: © 2022 The Authors. WIREs Water published by Wiley Periodicals LLC. This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Antibiotics, consumption, plastic, pollution
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10156041
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