Work Description

Title: Unused Pharmaceutical Disposal Model Open Access Deposited

There are no ingest append scripts associated with this work.
Attribute Value
  • See manuscript
  • Supporting Information for research article "Life cycle comparison of environmental emissions from three disposal options for unused pharmaceutical". This spreadsheet provides the calculations and values used for this study; please refer to the manuscript and supporting information (as text) available at for details about how to use this spreadsheet. We use life cycle assessment methodology to compare three disposal options for unused pharmaceuticals: (i) incineration after take-back to a pharmacy, (ii) wastewater treatment after toilet disposal, and (iii) landfilling or incineration after trash disposal. For each option, emissions of active pharmaceutical ingredients to the environment (API emissions) are estimated along with nine other types of emissions to air and water (non-API emissions). Under a scenario with 50% take-back to a pharmacy and 50% trash disposal, current API emissions are expected to be reduced by 93%. This is within 6% of a 100% trash disposal scenario, which achieves an 88% reduction. The 50% take-back scenario achieves a modest reduction in API emissions over a 100% trash scenario while increasing most non-API emissions by over 300%. If the 50% of unused pharmaceuticals not taken-back are toileted instead of trashed, all emissions increase relative to 100% trash disposal. Evidence suggests that 50% participation in take-back programs could be an upper bound. As a result, we recommend trash disposal for unused pharmaceuticals. A 100% trash disposal program would have similar API emissions to a take-back program with 50% participation, while also having significantly lower non-API emissions, lower financial costs, higher convenience, and higher compliance rates.
Contact information
Resource type
Last modified
  • 02/21/2020
  • 12/06/2018
To Cite this Work:
Skerlos, S. J. (2018). Unused Pharmaceutical Disposal Model [Data set], University of Michigan - Deep Blue Data.


This work is not a member of any user collections.

Files (Count: 1; Size: 1.25 MB)

Download All Files (To download individual files, select them in the “Files” panel above)

Best for data sets < 3 GB. Downloads all files plus metadata into a zip file.

Best for data sets > 3 GB. Globus is the platform Deep Blue Data uses to make large data sets available.   More about Globus