The utility of municipal wastewater analysis for drug epidemiology, food safety, and environmental monitoring

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Malcom Reid, NIVA
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Content Type:
On Demand Webinar
Content Subtype:
Compliance and Regulatory
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ON DEMAND WEBINAR: The utility of municipal wastewater analysis for drug epidemiology, food safety, and environmental monitoring: From targeted analysis of biomarkers to non-target screening



Sewage contains the excreted biomarkers of endogenous human metabolism that directly reflects the exposure and stressors placed upon an entire contributing community. The quantitative measurement of these specific biomarkers in sewage from communities allows the averaged patterns of factors related to lifestyle, disease and environment to be used for the assessment of human health and the environment.

While most research in this field has been aimed at estimating the use of illicit drugs, the approach has in recent years also been extended to determine the use or occurrence of other substances.  These include pesticide metabolites from food and agriculture, and markers of oxidative stress which quantify a biological system's ability to readily detoxify reactive intermediates such as arise from environmental pollutants. 

The technique is analogous to the analysis of a pooled-urine sample from the entire population, and so has direct links with clinical toxicology and the associated analytical methods.  Wastewater is however a challenging matrix so significant advances have been made in both targeted analysis and screening methodologies.

The technology and application will be presented with examples from programs coordinated by the Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) - a Waters Centers of Innovation, and the SCORE network (

NIVA is Norway’s foremost professional competence centre for environmental and resource issues relating to the field of water. NIVA plays a vital role as a provider of research-based studies and advisory services, and has a central role in providing scientifically based knowledge for policy-making on water related issues worldwide.


  • Understand the field and application of wastewater-based epidemiology
  • Discover the analytical techniques and technology that are essential for the analysis of biomarker in wastewater
  • Learn about future directions and analytical methods currently in development


Speaker Moderator
 Malcom Reid, Ph.D.  Rachael Simpson
Researcher, Environmental Chemistry Section Editor
Norwegian Institute for Water Research (NIVA) International Environmental Technology

Malcolm Reid (PhD) has 15 years of experience
in the research, development and implementation
of new analytical techniques for the detection of
pharmaceuticals, drugs and metabolites in samples
from the human population and the environment.

Malcolm has in recent years focused on building the
non-target screening platforms within NIVA. He also
has a particular interest in the field of wastewater-based
epidemiology which presents exciting opportunities
for monitoring and the evaluation of human health
and the environment.


Hosted by International Environmental Technology