COVID-19 pandemic spread rapidly worldwide with unanticipated effects on mental health, lifestyle, stability of economies and societies. Although many research groups have already reported SARS-CoV-2 surveillance in untreated wastewater, only few studies evaluated the implications of the pandemic on the use of chemicals by influent wastewater analysis. Wide-scope target and suspect screening were used to monitor the effects of the pandemic on the Greek population through wastewater-based epidemiology. Composite 24 h influent wastewater samples were collected from the wastewater treatment plant of Athens during the first lockdown and analyzed by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry. A wide range of compounds was investigated (11,286), including antipsychotic drugs, illicit drugs, tobacco compounds, food additives, pesticides, biocides, surfactants and industrial chemicals. Mass loads of chemical markers were estimated and compared with the data obtained under non-COVID-19 conditions (campaign 2019). The findings revealed increases in surfactants (+196%), biocides (+152%), cationic quaternary ammonium surfactants (used as surfactants and biocides) (+331%), whereas the most important decreases were estimated for tobacco (-33%) and industrial chemicals (-52%). The introduction of social-restriction measures by the government affected all aspects of life.
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