The Exeter team has worked with the European Environment Agency (EEA) and European Commission Joint Research Centre (JRC) to inform policy and regulation on AMR and the environment. The team’s research resulted in two antimicrobials (trimethoprim and sulfamethoxazole) being included on the EU Water Framework Directive’s Priority Hazardous Substances Watch List (EU) 2020/1161. This lists potential aquatic pollutants that should be carefully monitored by EU member states to determine the risk they pose to the aquatic environment, and whether they should be subject to EU Environmental Quality Standards (EQS).
It is acknowledged by the Water Industries and Pollution team at EEA, who are involved in Water Framework Directive policy formation, that the research on sulfamethoxazole and trimethoprim, informed the discussion for the new watch list.
This direct impact on the formulation of EU policy about the regulation of antimicrobial pollutants, based on their ability to drive the evolution of AMR will result in changes in environmental surveillance for potentially hazardous chemicals.