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Sewage as an information source on (illicit) substance use: a sociological and public health view
- Van Hal, Guido
- Current opinion in environmental science & health 2019 v.9 pp. 34-39
- drugs, epidemiology, excretion, information sources, issues and policy, public health, sewage, urine, wastewater
- Sewage (or wastewater) can be considered as a diluted urine sample of the population, and as such, it can be used as a collective urine test on excretion products of (illicit) drugs. Although this looks very simple, the methodology is sophisticated. This young methodology, however, is improving very rapidly. In several (international) studies, wastewater-based epidemiology has proven that it can be very interesting and useful, not to replace the current epidemiological methods but as an objective measure which can add important information to inform policy: trends can be detected very quickly, and it can be used on a small or big scale.