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Effect-Directed Analysis of Key Toxicants in European River Basins. A Review

AuthorsBrack, Werner; Klamer, Hans J. C.; López de Alda, Miren ; Barceló, Damià
KeywordsAquatic ecosystems
Chemical contamination
Effect-based key toxicants
Effect-directed analysis (EDA)
European river basins
Water Framework Directive (WFD)
Issue Date1-May-2007
CitationEnvironmental Science and Pollution Research 14 (1): 30-38 (2007)
AbstractBackground. Extensive monitoring programs on chemical contamination are run in many European river basins. With respect to the implementation of the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD), these programs are increasingly accompanied by monitoring the ecological status of the river basins. Assuming an impact of chemical contamination on the ecological status, the assignment of effects in aquatic ecosystems to those stressors that cause the effects is a prerequisite for taking political or technical measures to achieve the goals of the WFD. Thus, one focus of present European research is on toxicant identification in European river basins in order to allow for a reduction of toxic pressure on aquatic ecosystems according to the WFD. Main Features. An overview is presented on studies that were performed to link chemical pollution in European river basins to measurable ecotoxic effects. This includes correlation-based approaches as well as investigations that apply effect-directed analysis (EDA) integrating toxicity testing, fractionation and non-target chemical analysis. Effect-based key toxicants that were identified in European surface waters are compiled and compared to EU priority pollutants. Further needs for research are identified. Results. Studies on the identification of effect-based key toxicants focused on mutagenicity, aryl hydrocarbon receptor-mediated effects, endocrine disruption, green algae, and invertebrates. The identified pollutants include priority pollutants and other well-known environmental pollutants such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins, furans, and biphenyls, nonylphenol, some pesticides and tributyltin, but also other compounds that were neither considered as environmental pollutants before nor regulated such as substituted phenols, natural or synthetic estrogens and androgens, dinaphthofurans, 2-(2-naphthalenyl)benzothiophene, and N-phenyl- 2-naphthylamine. Discussion. Individual studies at specific sites in a European river basin demonstrated the power of combined biological and chemical analytical approaches and, particularly, of effect-directed analysis. However, the available information on effect-based key toxicants is very limited with respect to the entirety of rivers possibly at risk due to chemical contamination and with respect to toxicological endpoints considered at a specific site. A relatively broad basis of information exists only for estrogenicity and aryl hydrocarbon Ah-receptor-mediated effects.
Description9 pages, 3 figures, 1 table.
Publisher version (URL)http://dx.doi.org/10.1065/espr2006.08.329
Appears in Collections:(IDAEA) Artículos
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