How Can You Drug Test an Entire City? You'd Start With a Spoonful of Sewage

By Dirk Hanson 06/29/11

Is the nation ready for city-wide urine testing? NPR looks into the matter.

"It only takes a teaspoon of waste water to reveal an entire city's eating or drinking habits — and also its drug habits. Scientists in Norway are using the technology, called sewer epidemiology, to drug test an entire city. One of those scientists, Kevin Thomas, explains."

And here is a link to an earlier NPR report on "sewage epidemiology."

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Dirk Hanson, MA, is a freelance science writer and the author of The Chemical Carousel: What Science Tells Us About Beating Addiction. He is also the author of The New Alchemists: Silicon Valley and the Microelectronics Revolution. He has worked as a business and science reporter for numerous magazines and trade publications including Wired, Scientific American, The Dana Foundation and more. He currently edits the Addiction Inbox blog. Email: [email protected]