Presence, behavior and risk assessment of pharmaceuticals in marine ecosystems

PHARMASEA integrates international expertise to answer key research questions on fate and biological effects of active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs), well recognized contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) for marine ecosystems. The project will allow in-depth studies on APIs distribution, effects and risks in four European coastal areas, targeting (1) occurrence, uptake and trophic transfer along regional marine food webs; (2) bioaccumulation/excretion kinetics, potential ecotoxicological effects from molecular to individual levels, and characterization of modes-of-action in model and selected marine species; (3) development of specific risk assessment procedures for APIs. The communication and connection with industries, private and public stakeholders as well as citizen engagement are important aims to promote public awareness, pre-normative research and implementation into European Directives. The project is expected to have a major impact enhancing the scientific knowledge and awareness on interactions between human and environmental health. The results could influence prescribing and disposal practices of domestic medicines and increase market opportunities and competitiveness of European pharma industries investing on environmental sustainability of their products.



Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (APIs), Occurrence, Trophic Transfer, Biological Effects, Risk Assessment


Project Website



Project Coordinator:
Prof. Francesco Regoli,
Polytechnic University of Marche, Department of Life and Environmental Sciences (DiSVA), Italy


Communication & Dissemination Contact:
Marica Mezzelani


Partner Institutions:

University of Heidelberg, Aquatic Ecology & Toxicology, Center for Organismal Studies – Germany

University of Stavanger, Department of Chemistry, Bioscience and Environmental Engineering – Norway

Universidade da Coruña, Instituto Universitario de Medio Ambiente (IUMA) – Spain

Agencia Estatal Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, M.P. (CSIC) – Spain