Research Article | J Pharmacol Pharm Res. 2018;1(1):003 | Open Access
Environmental Contamination by Pharmaceutical Waste: Assessing Patterns of Disposing Unwanted Medications and Investigating the Factors Influencing Personal Disposal Choices
Heba Shaaban, Hajer Alghamdi, Nada Alhamed, Anhar Alziadi and Ahmed MostafaPDF
Occurrence of pharmaceuticals in the aquatic environment is of great concern and has been the focus of an increasing number of recent studies. Trace levels of these compounds have the potential to cause harmful effects to aquatic life. The significant source of pharmaceuticals in the environment is household disposal of expired/leftover/unused pharmaceuticals. In order to minimize the amount of pharmaceuticals disposed of and discharged into the environment, the motivation behind the selection of disposal methods should be studied. This study aims to identify possible contributory factors associated with the choice of the methods of disposing pharmaceuticals and to evaluate the public perceived environmental risk of pharmaceuticals. The results are based on questionnaire responses of 767 residents in Saudi Arabia. It was found that disposal of unused pharmaceuticals through household waste and domestic water systems are the most predominant practices. Respondents possessing higher level of education and people who received instructions regarding proper disposal are more likely to return pharmaceutical waste to a pharmacy. There is no association between risk perception and the choice of disposal methods. Our findings revealed that it is more beneficial to educate people about the proper disposal rather than educating them about the risks associated with pharmaceuticals. These findings will provide insights when designing future interventions to promote specific messages to enhance knowledge, change attitude and improve practice regarding disposal of pharmaceutical waste.
Keywords: Pharmaceutical waste; Unwanted medications; Disposal practices; Household waste; Pharmaceutical pollution; Risk perception
Citation: Shaaban H, Alghamdi H, Alhamed N, Alzaydi A, Mostafa A. Environmental Contamination by Pharmaceutical Waste: Assessing Patterns of Disposing Unwanted Medications and Investigating the Factors Influencing Personal Disposal Choices. J Pharmacol Pharm Res. 2018;1(1):003