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Wastewater-based Monitoring of the Nitazene Analogues: First Detection of Protonitazene in Wastewater

NCJ Number
Science of the Total Environment Volume: 920 Dated: April 2024 Pages: 170781
Date Published
April 2024

Researchers in this study were able to detect nitazene analogues in wastewater.


The objective of this study was to detect nitazene analogues in wastewater from samples collected from eight sites in the United States. The results showed that it is possible to detect nitazene analogues in wastewater using a combination of sample pre-concentration and sensitive instrumentation, thereby further expanding the utility of wastewater-based epidemiology. Synthetic opioids, particularly the nitazene analogues class, have become a public health concern due to their high potency. Wastewater-based epidemiology can detect community use of these compounds. Influent wastewater samples were collected from eight sites in seven states (Arizona, Oregon, New Mexico, Illinois, New Jersey, Washington and Georgia) in the United States. Samples were collected from each site on three days between 27 December 2022 and 4 January 2023, acidified on collection, stored frozen and shipped to Arizona State University (Tempe, AZ) for sample processing. Samples were then shipped to The University of Queensland (Brisbane, Australia) for sample analysis. Protonitazene was found in samples collected from two sites in Washington and Illinois. The concentration was estimated up to 0.5 ng/L, with estimated excreted mass loads up to 0.3 mg/day/1000 people. (Published Abstract Provided)

Date Published: April 1, 2024