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Wastewater analysis



Wastewater analysis

Activities in the area of wastewater analysis


Analysing communal wastewaters for drugs and their metabolic products in order to estimate their consumption in the community is a developing field, involving scientists working in different research areas, including analytical chemistry, physiology and biochemistry, sewage engineering, spatial epidemiology and statistics, and conventional drug epidemiology.


In 2017 this Europe-wide study, which includes around 60 cities in total, revealed a picture of distinct geographical and temporal patterns of drug use across European cities. Twenty one cities have participated in at least five of the annual wastewater monitoring campaigns since 2011, which allows for seven-year time trend analysis of drug consumption based on wastewater testing. Following the success of this initial study, comparable studies were undertaken over the following four years, covering up to 19 European countries in 2017.

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Key documents and related project studies

Related projects


Key scientific articles





Common protocol
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WBE Ethical guidelines
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About the EMCDDA

The European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA) is the reference point on drugs and drug addiction information in Europe. Inaugurated in Lisbon in 1995, it is one of the EU's decentralised agencies. Read more >>

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Page last updated: Wednesday, 13 March 2019