Title: EU-Wide Survey of Polar Organic Persistent Pollutants in European River Waters
Citation: ENVIRONMENTAL POLLUTION vol. 157 no. 2 p. 561-568
Publication Year: 2009
JRC N°: JRC45210
ISSN: 0269-7491
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC45210
DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2008.09.020
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: This study provides the first EU-wide reconnaissance of the occurrence of polar organic persistent pollutants in European river waters. More than 100 individual water samples from over 100 European rivers or streams from 27 European Countries were analysed for 35 selected compounds, comprising pharmaceuticals (e.g. carbamazepine, diclofenac), antibiotics (sulfamethoxazole), pesticides (e.g. 2,4-D, mecoprop, bentazone, terbutylazine), perfluorinated acids PFAs (PFOS, PFOA), benzotriazoles (corrosion inhibitors), hormones (estrone, estradiol), and alkylphenolics (bisphenol A, nonylphenol). Around 40 laboratories actively participated in this unique sampling exercise organised by the European Commission¿s Joint Research Centre (JRC). The selection of sampling sites was performed by the participating EU Member States. The most frequently and at the highest concentration levels detected compounds were benzotriazole, caffeine, carbamazepine, tolyltriazole, and nonylphenoxy acetic acid (NPE1C). Only about 10 % of the river water samples analysed could be classified as ¿very clean¿ in terms of chemical pollution, since they contained only a few compounds in very low concentrations. Strong indications on the rivers responsible for the major aqueous emissions of the persistent chemicals perfluorooctansulfonate (PFOS) and perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) from the European Continent could be found. For the target compounds chosen, we are proposing guidance values in surface waters, which are not based on eco-toxicological consideration; these warning levels are (for most compounds) close to the 90th percentile of all water samples analysed. Further environmental monitoring data are needed as sound basis to evaluate the state of the environment, continental scale risk assessment and related decision support.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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