Baltic Marine Environment
Protection Commission

Pharmaceuticals in the Baltic Sea the topic of upcoming HELCOM report

​​​​​​HELCOM showcased yesterday the work on a regional status on pharmaceuticals at the global in Stockholm, Sweden. The report, scheduled for release in February 2016, will provide a comprehensive background for a regional strategy to mitigate pharmaceuticals’ possible harmful effect in the Baltic Sea.  The forthcoming assessment was the only chosen European case study in the UNESCO session, Emerging pollutants in water and wastewater, in Stockholm on Sunday.There are global cases where high concentrations of pharmaceuticals in the environment lead to disastrous consequences for the population of the exposed species. Photo: Bill Lyons/FlickrThe work will be conducted by HELCOM with active participation of Swedish Environmental Protection Agency   as the coordinator of Policy Area of the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region (EUSBSR).  The report will be based on information compiled at national and regional level. The aim is to integrate information on production and consumption of pharmaceuticals in the region, their pathways to the Baltic Sea environment, and concentrations in all the compartments of the environment and effects on marine life. The report will also identify knowledge gaps and possible measures to fill such gaps. Pharmaceutical residues in the Baltic Sea are causing concern as the full impact for the marine environment is still unknown. Research shows that not all chemical compounds from medicines are dissolved by the treatment in the waste water plant.  Moreover, pharmaceuticals used in veterinary enter the soil – and consequently groundwater – via manure. Updates on the work on the report will be posted in dedicated HELCOM . * * *Note for editorsThe Baltic Marine Environment Protection Commission, usually referred to as , is an intergovernmental organization of the nine Baltic Sea coastal countries and the European Union working to protect the marine environment of the Baltic Sea from all sources of pollution and to ensure safety of navigation in the region. Since 1974, HELCOM has been the governing body of the ‘Convention on the Protection of the Marine Environment of the Baltic Sea Area’, more commonly known as the Helsinki Convention. * * * For more information, please contact:Dmitry Frank-KamenetskyProfessional SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 630 9933Skype: helcom68E-mail: dmitry.frank-kamenetsky(at) Johanna LaurilaInformation SecretaryHELCOMTel: +358 40 523 8988Skype: helcom70E-mail: johanna.laurila(at)​

The report, showcased yesterday in Stockholm World Water Week, will be a comprehensive background for a regional strategy to mitigate pharmaceuticals’ possible harmful effect. Release expected in February 2016.