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Satellite Event - Illicit Drugs in Wastewaters


Organized in collaboration with the American Chemical Society.

Co-conveners: Dr. Jennifer Field, Oregon State University, USA; Dr. Félix Hernández, Instituto Universitario de Plaguicidas y Aguas, Universitat Jaume I, Spain.

Quantitative measurements of illicit drug specific biomarkers in urban wastewater can be used to estimate the consumption of illicit drugs. The level of drug residues present in the sewage reflects the amount of a particular drug that has been consumed by the population served by the sewer network under investigation. This approach is referred as “sewage epidemiology”, a promising tool that is currently in an early stage of development and requires further optimization and standardization to produce reliable estimates of illicit drug use that can be harmonized with those produced from epidemiological surveys. Analysis of wastewaters provides evidence-based and real-time estimates of illicit drug consumption, and can be used for  monitoring patterns and trends of illicit drug use in large communities.

This approach requires the development of advanced analytical methodologies to detect these compounds in a complex matrix, such as urban wastewater. To this aim, hyphenation of liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry is the most powerful tool at present. LC-MS/MS is the work horse in this field, but high resolution MS also offers interesting features for investigation of illicit drugs, mainly for investigation of metabolites and novel substances in this type of complex-matrix samples.


Workshop agenda

Date: 25 June 2013 (Half day) - Preliminary Program

Workshop Reception and Registration: 12:45 - 13:10.

Welcome and Presentation of the Event: 13:10 - 13:30.

Talk 1 (13:30 - 14:10): Dr. Juan V. Sancho, Universitat Jaume I, Castellon, Spain.

Analytical strategies for investigation of illicit drugs in wastewaters. Potential of HR MS in this field.

Talk 2 (14:10 - 14:50): Dr. Barbara Kasprzyk-Hordern, Department of Chemistry, University of Bath, UK.

Illicit drugs in wastewater: chirality and other under-investigated phenomena.

Coffee break (14:50 - 15:30).

Talk 3 (15:30 - 16:10): Dr. Kevin Thomas, NIVA, Norway.

Comparing illicit drug use in 19 European cities through sewage analysis.

Talk 4 (16:10 - 16:50): Dr. Caleb J. Banta-Green, Alcohol and Drug Abuse Institute, University of Washington, USA.

Drug comsumption estimation from sewage water analysis versus epidemiological studies.

Break (16:50 - 17:00).

Closure and Open discussion (17:00 - 18:00).