Targeting aquatic microcontaminants for monitoring

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Author(s) Götz, Christian W., Stamm, Christian, Fenner, Kathrin, Singer, Heinz, Schärer, Michael, Hollender, Juliane
Publication Type Journal Items, Publication Status: Published
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Title Targeting aquatic microcontaminants for monitoring
Subtitle Exposure categorization and application to the Swiss situation
Author(s) Götz, Christian W.
Stamm, Christian
Fenner, Kathrin
Singer, Heinz
Schärer, Michael
Hollender, Juliane
Journal or Series Title Environmental science and pollution research international
Volume Number 17
Issue Number 2
Start Page 341
End Page 354
ISSN 0944-1344
Publisher Springer
Publication Place Landsberg
Publication Date 2010-02
Keyword(s) biocides
chemical risk assessment
emerging pollutants
priority substances
surface water
Abstract Background, aim, and scope: Aquatic microcontaminants (MCs) comprise diverse chemical classes, such as pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals, consumer products, and industrial chemicals. For water pollution control and the evaluation of water protection measures, it is crucial to screen for MCs. However, the selection and prioritization of which MCs to screen for is rather difficult and complex. Existing methods usually are strongly limited because of a lack of screening regulations or unavailability of required data. Method and models: Here, we present a simple exposure-based methodology that provides a systematic overview of a broad range of MCs according to their potential to occur in the water phase of surface waters. The method requires input of publicly available data only. Missing data are estimated with quantitative structure–property relationships. The presented substance categorization methodology is based on the chemicals’ distribution behavior between different environmental media, degradation data, and input dynamics. Results: Seven different exposure categories are distinguished based on different compound properties and input dynamics. Ranking the defined exposure categories based on a chemical’s potential to occur in the water phase of surface waters, exposure categories I and II contain chemicals with a very high potential, categories III and IV contain chemicals with a high potential, and categories V and VI contain chemicals with a moderate to low potential. Chemicals in category VII are not evaluated because of a lack of data. We illustrate and evaluate the methodology on the example of MCs in Swiss surface waters. Furthermore, a categorized list containing potentially water-relevant chemicals is provided. Discussion: Chemicals of categories I and III continuously enter surface waters and are thus likely to show relatively steady concentrations. Therefore, they are best suited for water monitoring programs requiring a relatively low sampling effort. Chemicals in categories II and IV have complex input dynamics. They are consequently more difficult to monitor. However, they should be considered if an overall picture is needed that includes contaminants from diffuse sources. Conclusions: The presented methodology supports compound selection for (a) water quality guidance, (b) monitoring programs, and (c) further research on the chemical’s ecotoxicology. The results from the developed categorization procedure are supported by data on consumption and observed concentrations in Swiss surface waters. The presented methodology is a tool to preselect potential hazardous substances based on exposure-based criteria for policy guidance and monitoring programs and a first important step for a detailed risk assessment for potential microcontaminants. Electronic supplementary material: The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s11356-009-0167-8) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
DOI 10.1007/s11356-009-0167-8
Additional Notes Received 29 December 2008, Accepted 7 April 2009, Published online 28 May 2009
Document Type Article
Publication Status Published
Language English
Assigned Organisational Unit(s) 03731
Organisational Unit(s)
NEBIS System Number 000931357
Source Database ID PP-50735
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  author = "G{\"{o}}tz, Christian W. and Stamm, Christian and Fenner, Kathrin and Singer, Heinz and Sch{\"{a}}rer, Michael and Hollender, Juliane",
  title = "{T}argeting aquatic microcontaminants for monitoring: {E}xposure categorization and application to the {S}wiss situation",
  journal = "Environmental science and pollution research international",
  year = 2010,
  volume = "17",
  number = "2",
  pages = "341--354",
  month = feb,

E-Citations record created: Wed, 23 Jun 2010, 20:24:17 CET