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Systematic and day-to-day effects of chemical-derived population estimates on wastewater-based drug epidemiology


Lai, FY and Anuj, S and Bruno, R and Carter, S and Gartner, C and Hall, W and Kirkbride, KP and Mueller, JF and O'Brien, JW and Prichard, J and Thai, PK and Ort, C, Systematic and day-to-day effects of chemical-derived population estimates on wastewater-based drug epidemiology, Environmental Science and Technology, 49, (2) pp. 999-1008. ISSN 0013-936X (2014) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2014 American Chemical Society

DOI: doi:10.1021/es503474d


Population size is crucial when estimating population-normalized drug consumption (PNDC) from wastewater-based drug epidemiology (WBDE). Three conceptually different population estimates can be used: de jure (common census, residence), de facto (all persons within a sewer catchment), and chemical loads (contributors to the sampled wastewater). De facto and chemical loads will be the same where all households contribute to a central sewer system without wastewater loss. This study explored the feasibility of determining a de facto population and its effect on estimating PNDC in an urban community over an extended period. Drugs and other chemicals were analyzed in 311 daily composite wastewater samples. The daily estimated de facto population (using chemical loads) was on average 32% higher than the de jure population. Consequently, using the latter would systemically overestimate PNDC by 22%. However, the relative day-to-day pattern of drug consumption was similar regardless of the type of normalization as daily illicit drug loads appeared to vary substantially more than the population. Using chemical loads population, we objectively quantified the total methodological uncertainty of PNDC and reduced it by a factor of 2. Our study illustrated the potential benefits of using chemical loads population for obtaining more robust PNDC data in WBDE.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:wastewater epidemiology, illicit drug use
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Other psychology
Research Field:Other psychology not elsewhere classified
Objective Division:Health
Objective Group:Public health (excl. specific population health)
Objective Field:Public health (excl. specific population health) not elsewhere classified
UTAS Author:Bruno, R (Associate Professor Raimondo Bruno)
UTAS Author:Prichard, J (Associate Professor Jeremy Prichard)
ID Code:98349
Year Published:2014
Web of Science® Times Cited:52
Deposited By:Psychology
Deposited On:2015-02-12
Last Modified:2017-11-07
Downloads:1 View Download Statistics

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