Pesticides, pharmaceuticals and plasticizers are found in the Dniester

Posted on 7.11.2019

Within the framework of the GEF project, a screening – analysis of more than 6,000 chemical compounds in the Dniester basin was completed, as a result of which the so-called Dniester river basin specific pollutants have been identified.

According to the study, the most polluted sampling points were recorded in the Tysmenytsia and Seret rivers, in the Dniester in the city of Mohyliv-Podilskyi in Ukraine, and in the Byk and the Reut rivers in Moldova. At these sampling points, the limit values ​​of individual compounds and metals exceeded from 2 to 10 times.

Among the most common identified compounds  are pesticide residues, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, stimulants and sweeteners.

In some sampling points of surface water the results of the analysis of metals showed exceedance of mercury, copper and zinc, and in the bottom sediments – exceedance of nickel, chromium and zinc.

The screening results also contain information on main organic compounds that pose threat to humans and aquatic organisms of the Dniester. Among them are:

  • terbutylazine (chlortriazine), carbaryl, metolachlor, acetochlor and propazin-2-hydroxy – which are plant protection products;
  • carbamazepine, fluconalosole, sulfamethoxazole and telmisartan – which are medicines, as well as triclosan, which is often used as an antibacterial substance in detergents and toys.

Experts pay special attention to the so-called emerging pollutants identified in the waters of the Dniester, namely:

  • industrial chemicals, including plasticizers and industrial additives (glycerol monostearate, surfactants);
  • medicines that are used to treat the gallbladder, antiviral drugs, analgesics, antidepressants, and cosmetic medicines.


You can find more details about the results of screening surface waters, bottom sediments, and fish in the report or the summary below.

All results are part of the broad chemical screening as the basis for a future research monitoring system in accordance with the EU Water Framework Directive. The work was carried out by the Institute of the Environment (Slovakia, Sampling was carried out in May 2019; the analysis was carried out in June – July 2019.

Short summary here

Full report here