Is there a risk associated with the use of sewage sludge in agriculture ?

Risques liés au retour au sol des boues d’épuration

In order to determine the health impact of sewage sludge return to the ground, ADEME, CNRS, FP2E, INERIS, SIAAP and SYPREA have collaborated to carry out a comprehensive health risk analysis.


A committee of independent experts monitored the smooth running of this study, helping in particular to define the methodology used and validating the main hypotheses taken into account.

Under the scenarios and assumptions used, the risk associated with the return of sludge and sludge compost to the ground is significantly lower than the reference values that set the acceptable level of risk.


Assessment of health risks related to the return of sewage sludge to the ground

This study is part of the regulatory framework for sludge spreading (isolation distances, minimum delays before the resumption of certain activities, etc.). Its main limitations stem from the failure to take into account dermal exposure and the risk of transfer of pollutants to surface waters, as well as the limits of quantification of existing substances. 

More information about this study?

Discover the details of this assessment of the health risks associated with the return of sewage sludge to the ground, conducted jointly by ADEME, CNRS, FP2E, INERIS, SIAAP and SYPREA.