Management of pharmaceutical substances in the environment: Lithuanian case study

Water Sci Technol. 2016 Sep;74(6):1255-1265. doi: 10.2166/wst.2016.289.


Investigation on the sources, discharges and related risks for the environment of the pharmaceutical substance (PhS) diclofenac (DCF) was performed in Lithuania, a country of the Baltic Sea region, for the first time. The investigation only refers to DCF as a PhS for human use; emissions from animal husbandry were not considered. In the first stage of the research, the main sources and pathways of DCF via substance flow analysis were identified within the country. During the second stage, DCF flows along the wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) in two different cities were measured in order to assess the current levels of pharmaceutical residues in the environment. Furthermore, environmental risk assessment was carried out by taking into account the parameters of consumption data and elimination rate in WWTPs. Then, the assessment of different technical and managerial removal approaches was accomplished in an environmental management model of wastewater containing PhS, based on the framework of environmental systems theory.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cities
  • Environment
  • Humans
  • Lithuania
  • Models, Theoretical
  • Pharmaceutical Preparations / chemistry*
  • Risk Assessment
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid / methods*
  • Wastewater / chemistry*
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / chemistry*


  • Pharmaceutical Preparations
  • Waste Water
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical