IMPACTS OF HUMAN PHARMACEUTICALS ON FISH HEALTHAbstract
Human pharmaceuticals and their metabolites affect the endocrine system and physiology of aquatic wildlife, which is an important global ecological concern. The published data from open-source toxicology and worldwide web resources reveal about 175 pharmaceuticals that can affect estrogen pathways to disrupt the endocrine system and metabolism. Such studies demand additional investigations on fish and wildlife. As predicted, the use of therapeutic drugs is expected to progressively increase over the coming years, following increased discharge in a freshwater environment. The widespread use and their incorrect dumping procedures have made these chemicals as contaminants of emerging concern (CEC). Particularly, the active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) are universally identified in surface water and soil, where they execute negative effects in living organisms. The associated presence of different drugs may undergo bioaccumulation, which causes potential toxicological effects on behaviour, histopathological alterations, reproductive and immunotoxic responses in fish and wildlife. However, the results of published literature revealed that the intensity of impacts is mostly regulated by the concentration of active pharmaceutical compounds, time of exposure, and some abiotic factors like photoperiod and nutrient availability. The response of species to these active pharmaceutical substances may be noticeably different from species type. Therefore, it is necessary to continue systematic research on active metabolites and drug detection methods, check the great number of active pharmaceuticals in drinking water, surface, and groundwater, and assess the environmental risks arising from their increased presence in the freshwater environment.