Environmental Science and Pollution Research

, Volume 25, Issue 28, pp 27819–27838 | Cite as

Wastewater-based epidemiology in low Human Development Index states: bias in consumption monitoring of illicit drugs

  • Damien A. DevaultEmail author
  • Hadrien Maguet
  • Sylvie Merle
  • Anne Péné-Annette
  • Yves Lévi
Review Article


Wastewater-based epidemiology is a promising approach worldwide, and its application is currently being developed in non-advanced economies. This technology, based on known toxicokinetic data initially used to detect illicit drugs in well-managed and maintained local sewer networks, has been extended to assess other products such as pesticides, alcohol, flame retardants, nicotine, and other substances. This technology is also used in countries with non-advanced economies. The present review aims to support future wastewater-based epidemiology in such countries by providing toxicokinetic data for locally used narcotic drugs that are expected or known to be emerging in developed countries, outlining the excretion differences due to human polymorphism, and summarising the practical obstacles due to the coverage, maintenance efficiency, or type of local sewage network.Case study feedback from Martinique is presented as an example; the Martinique field study complies with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development standards for health issues, but not with regard to population and urban dynamics.


Global South countries Sewer porosity Pharmacokinetics Crack Ibogaine Ayahuasca 



The authors appreciate the help of Victoria Grace for the English language corrections.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Damien A. Devault
    • 1
    Email author
  • Hadrien Maguet
    • 2
  • Sylvie Merle
    • 3
  • Anne Péné-Annette
    • 4
  • Yves Lévi
    • 1
  1. 1.Faculté de PharmacieUniv. Paris Sud, Univ. Paris Saclay, UMR 8079, CNRS, AgroParisTechChatenay-MalabryFrance
  2. 2.Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de MartiniqueFort-de-France CedexFrance
  3. 3.Observatoire de la Santé de la MartiniqueLe LamentinMartinique
  4. 4.Laboratoire EA 929 AIHP-GEODE-BIOSPHERES Campus Universitaire de SchœlcherSchœlcherFrance

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