Wastewater research and surveillance: an ethical exploration

N. Doorn*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
29 Downloads (Pure)


The current COVID-19 pandemic has given wastewater research a huge impetus. While wastewater research has some promising applications, there are as yet no well-developed ethical guidelines on how and under what conditions to use wastewater research. The current perspective paper aims to explore the different ethical questions pertaining to wastewater research and surveillance and to provide some tentative guidelines on the desirability of different types of applications. This paper shows that wastewater research offers interesting possibilities, but that legal regulation and ethical guidelines are still lacking, while there are ethical risks involved. The perspective indicates that it is important to look beyond the regulation of data collection and to shift the focus to the question how the analysis and use of wastewater data can be supervised.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2431-2438
Number of pages8
JournalEnvironmental Science: Water Research and Technology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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