Could wastewater analysis be a useful tool for China? — A review

Jianfa Gao, Jake O'Brien, Foon Yin Lai, Alexander L.N. van Nuijs, Jun He, Jochen F. Mueller, Jingsha Xu, Phong K. Thai
2015 Journal of Environmental Sciences(China)  
Analysing wastewater samples is an innovative approach that overcomes 12 many limitations of traditional surveys to identify and measure a range of chemicals 13 that were consumed by or exposed to people living in a sewer catchment area. First 14 conceptualised in 2001, much progress has been made to make wastewater analysis 15 (WWA) a reliable and robust tool for measuring chemical consumption and or 16 exposure. At the moment, the most popular application of WWA, sometimes referred 17 as
more » ... referred 17 as sewage epidemiology, is to monitor the consumption of illicit drugs in 18 communities around the globe, including China. The approach has been largely 19 adopted by law enforcement agencies as a device to monitor the temporal and 20 geographical pattern of drug consumption. In the future, the methodology can be 21 extended to other chemicals including biomarkers of population health (e.g. 22 environmental or oxidative stress biomarkers, lifestyle indicators or medications that 23 are taken by different demographic groups) and pollutants that people are exposed to 24 (e.g. polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, perfluorinated chemicals, and toxic 25 pesticides). The extension of WWA to a huge range of chemicals may give rise to a 26 field called sewage chemical-information mining (SCIM) with unexplored potentials. 27 China has many densely populated cities with thousands of sewage treatment plants 28 which are favourable for applying WWA/SCIM in order to help relevant authorities 29 gather information about illicit drug consumption and population health status. 30 However, there are some prerequisites and uncertainties of the methodology that 31 should be addressed for SCIM to reach its full potential in China. 32
doi:10.1016/j.jes.2014.09.025 pmid:25597664 fatcat:oegbcbsmknd7tnt7tqh5dd5l2y