Title: On the Use of the Partitioning Approach to Derive Environmental Quality Standards (EQS) for Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) in Sediments: A Review of Existing Data
Citation: SCIENCE OF THE TOTAL ENVIRONMENT vol. 403 no. 1-3 p. 23-33
Publication Year: 2008
JRC N°: JRC41112
ISSN: 0048-9697
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC41112
DOI: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2008.05.016
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: A review of experimental data has been performed to study the relationships between EQS defined for surface waters in the Daughter Directive (COM (2006) 397) and possible EQS defined for sediments. The analysis of experimental data showed that even though in some specific cases there is a coupling between water column and sediments, this coupling is rather the exception. Therefore it is not recommendable to use water column data to assess the chemical quality status of sediments. At the moment EQS have been defined for the water column and therefore these EQS will assess only the compliance with good chemical status of surface waters. It is clear that the good chemical quality of a water body will depend on having good chemical quality of surface water and sediments and that to assess both it is necessary to measure in both media. The EQS developed for water could be applied to pore water (interstitial water); hence, there would be no need of developing another set of EQS. However, the measurement of pore water concentrations faces several technical problems. Therefore, the partitioning approach has been proposed as a solution to calculate sediment EQS from water EQS. Unfortunately, in this case an uncertainty between 2-3 orders of magnitude is added to the procedure and this is not adequate for setting sediment EQS. It is expected that analytical developments will improve the actual situation.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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