Is there a risk related to the return of organic matter to the soil?

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ADEME, CNRS, FP2E, INERIS, SIAAP and SYPREA have collaborated to carry out a comprehensive analysis to determine the health impact of returning sewage sludge to the soil.

In order to ensure that the study was properly conducted, it was supervised by a committee of independent experts. This committee participated in defining the methodology to be used, and validated the main assumptions envisaged.

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


Assessment of associated health risks

The analyses were carried out within the regulatory framework for sludge spreading (isolation distances, minimum time to resumption of certain activities, etc.).

The most important limits result from the failure to take into account dermal exposure and the risk of transfer of pollutants to surface water. Limits of quantification for existing substances should also be considered.


More information about this study?

Évaluation des risques sanitaires liés au retour au sol des boues d’épuration


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