Future water quality monitoring - Adapting tools to deal with mixtures of pollutants in water resource management

TitleFuture water quality monitoring - Adapting tools to deal with mixtures of pollutants in water resource management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsAltenburger, R, Ait-Aissa, S, Antczak, P, Backhaus, T, Barceló, D, Seiler, TB, Brack, W
JournalScience of The Total Environment
Start Page512
Pagination512-513, 540-551

Environmental quality monitoring of water resources is challenged with providing the basis for safeguarding the environment against adverse biological effects of anthropogenic chemical contamination from diffuse and point sources. While current regulatory efforts focus on monitoring and assessing a few legacy chemicals, many more anthropogenic chemicals can be detected simultaneously in our aquatic resources. However, exposure to chemical mixtures does not necessarily translate into adverse biological effects nor clearly shows whether mitigation measures are needed. Thus, the question which mixtures are present and which have associated combined effects becomes central for defining adequate monitoring and assessment strategies. Here we describe the vision of the international, EU-funded project SOLUTIONS, where three routes are explored to link the occurrence of chemical mixtures at specific sites to the assessment of adverse biological combination effects. First of all, multi-residue target and non-target screening techniques covering a broader range of anticipated chemicals co-occurring in the environment are being developed. By improving sensitivity and detection limits for known bioactive compounds of concern, new analytical chemistry data for multiple components can be obtained and used to characterise priority mixtures. This information on chemical occurrence will be used to predict mixture toxicity and to derive combined effect estimates suitable for advancing environmental quality standards. Secondly, bioanalytical tools will be explored to provide aggregate bioactivity measures integrating all components that produce common (adverse) outcomes even for mixtures of varying compositions. The ambition is to provide comprehensive arrays of effect-based tools and trait-based field observations that link multiple chemical exposures to various environmental protection goals more directly and to provide improved in situ observations for impact assessment of mixtures

Refereed DesignationUnknown