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Article

COVID-19 Lockdowns—Effect on Concentration of Pharmaceuticals and Illicit Drugs in Two Major Croatian Rivers

1
Croatian Waters, Central Water Management Laboratory, Ulica grada Vukovara 220, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
2
Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, University of Zagreb, Rooseveltov trg 6, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
3
Know-Center, Inffeldgasse 13/6, A-8010 Graz, Austria
4
Centre for Applied Bioanthropology, Institute for Anthropological Research, 10000 Zagreb, Croatia
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
These authors contributed equally to this work.
Academic Editor: Zhiguo Cao
Toxics 2022, 10(5), 241; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050241
Received: 11 April 2022 / Revised: 29 April 2022 / Accepted: 7 May 2022 / Published: 10 May 2022
(This article belongs to the Topic Emerging Contaminants in the Aquatic Environment)
In order to prevent the spread of COVID-19, contingency measures in the form of lockdowns were implemented all over the world, including in Croatia. The aim of this study was to detect if those severe, imposed restrictions of social interactions reflected on the water quality of rivers receiving wastewaters from urban areas. A total of 18 different pharmaceuticals (PhACs) and illicit drugs (IDrgs), as well as their metabolites, were measured for 16 months (January 2020–April 2021) in 12 different locations at in the Sava and Drava Rivers, Croatia, using UHPLC coupled to LCMS. This period encompassed two major Covid lockdowns (March–May 2020 and October 2020–March 2021). Several PhACs more than halved in river water mass flow during the lockdowns. The results of this study confirm that Covid lockdowns caused lower cumulative concentrations and mass flow of measured PhACs/IDrgs in the Sava and Drava Rivers. This was not influenced by the increased use of drugs for the treatment of the COVID-19, like antibiotics and steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The decreases in measured PhACs/IDrgs concentrations and mass flows were more pronounced during the first lockdown, which was stricter than the second. View Full-Text
Keywords: pharmaceuticals; illicit drugs; qsar; river water; COVID-19; machine learning; antibiotics; dexamethasone pharmaceuticals; illicit drugs; qsar; river water; COVID-19; machine learning; antibiotics; dexamethasone
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MDPI and ACS Style

Stipaničev, D.; Repec, S.; Vucić, M.; Lovrić, M.; Klobučar, G. COVID-19 Lockdowns—Effect on Concentration of Pharmaceuticals and Illicit Drugs in Two Major Croatian Rivers. Toxics 2022, 10, 241. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050241

AMA Style

Stipaničev D, Repec S, Vucić M, Lovrić M, Klobučar G. COVID-19 Lockdowns—Effect on Concentration of Pharmaceuticals and Illicit Drugs in Two Major Croatian Rivers. Toxics. 2022; 10(5):241. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050241

Chicago/Turabian Style

Stipaničev, Draženka, Siniša Repec, Matej Vucić, Mario Lovrić, and Göran Klobučar. 2022. "COVID-19 Lockdowns—Effect on Concentration of Pharmaceuticals and Illicit Drugs in Two Major Croatian Rivers" Toxics 10, no. 5: 241. https://doi.org/10.3390/toxics10050241

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