Environmental risk assessment of metformin and its transformation product guanylurea. I. Environmental fate

26 February, 2019

Jürg Oliver Strauba, *, Daniel J. Caldwellb, Todd Davidsonc, Vincent D'Acod, Kelly Kapplerb, Paul F. Robinsone, f, Brigitte Simon-Hettichg, Joan Tellh

a F.Hoffmann-La Roche, CHe4070, Basel, Switzerland
b Johnson and Johnson, 410 George Street, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
c Bristol-Myers Squibb, 1 Squibb Drive, New Brunswick, NJ, USA
d BSI EHS Services and Solutions, 1187, Main Avenue, Clifton, NJ, USA
e Knoell Consult Ltd., 22 Cathedral Road, Cardiff, CF11 9LJ, United Kingdom
f AstraZeneca, Alderley Park, Cheshire, United Kingdom
g Merck KGaA, Frankfurter Str. 250, U009/101, 64293, Darmstadt, Germany
h Merck Sharp & Dohme, 2000, Galloping Hill Road, Kenilworth, NJ, USA


  • The environmental fate of metformin (MET) and guanylurea (GUU) is discussed.
  • Both peer-reviewed literature and unpublished, quality industry studies are integrated.
  • New data not only suggest degradation of MET to GUU, but also full mineralization.
  • MET partitions to sediment with a fraction as non-extractable residue.
  • MET and GUU are not expected to bioaccumulate in fish.

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