Wastewater Surveillance

The coronavirus could turn sewage surveillance into a mainstream public health practice - Emily Anthes

Wastewater Surveillance

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Are You Entitled to Privacy Over Your Pee and Poop?

I have made what you excrete my daily business for almost two decades now. That means retrieving, from municipal sewers, wastewater that was created by thousands of people, rushing it to the laboratory, and analyzing it for toxic chemicals, human pathogens and biomarkers of harmful exposures. We have been fighting both the opioid epidemic and COVID-19, creating in the process the world’s first open-access electronic dashboards displaying opioid and coronavirus abundance at the neighborhood level to help inform public health actions.

The results can be counted in hundreds of offhand jokes, thousands of news stories, and millions of lives improved. I even went to Capitol Hill in Washington…

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Last Updated : Monday, December 6, 2021