Anti-inflammatory drugs in the Vistula River following the failure of the Warsaw sewage collection system in 2019

In this study we investigated to what extent the incident contributed to the increased discharge of anti-inflammatory drugs into the environment

Piotr Stepnowski; Daniel Wolecki; Alan Puckowski; Monika Paszkiewicz; Magda Caban


Scholarcy highlights

  • At the end of August 2019, in Warsaw, the sewage collection system of the Wastewater Treatment Plant malfunctioned
  • An elevated level of ibuprofen was found in the bottom sediments 6 weeks after the failure
  • During the subsequent 12 days, over 3.6 million m3 of untreated sewage was introduced from the damaged collector directly into the Vistula River
  • The highest concentrations were observed for paracetamol, ibuprofen and diclofenac
  • Measurements of the levels of pharmaceuticals in estuarial and marine waters in the vicinity of the mouth of the Vistula River indicate that the incident did not significantly increase the load of these pollutants in the waters of the southern Baltic Sea

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