Effect-based and chemical analytical monitoring for the steroidal estrogens : An international project to cope with a monitoring challenge

Abstract : Regulatory and risk assessment background and needs: In the context of the European Union (EU) Water Framework Directive (WFD) it is recognised that pharmaceuticals may pose a risk to the quality of European water bodies. Three substances with pharmaceutical use are included in the first so-called “watch list. However, monitoring of steroidal estrogens may be difficult because of the detection limits of most existing routine analytical methods and the high cost of high-end analytical methods. Sensitive effect-based methods are of reducing the current monitoring difficulties by measuring the estrogenic activity of environmental samples in a cost-efficient way. Project description:The project will focus on specific effect-based methods and best possible analytical methods related to the watch list substances EE2, E2 and E1. For this purpose, 20 l surface water and 20 wastewater samples across Europe will be collected and analysed. Approximately 20 institutes or agencies from 13 nations will be involved in the project. Detection methods covered: Best possible chemical analysis (Joint Research Centre (JRC), IT, and Federal Institute of Hydrology (BfG), DE) and eight effect-based methods. Some of the effect-based methods applied here are currently going through the OECD validation process or being developed as ISO standards. Results and discussion: We mainly discuss project characteristics and objectives in this abstract: a) Promoting reliable screening methods to support the monitoring of endocrine disrupting activity in wastewater and surface water b) Harmonizing monitoring options across Europe c) Linking reliable effect-based tools with regulatory needs d) Linking effect-based tools with chemical analysis for estrogen monitoring e) Supporting national and EU monitoring for endocrine disruptors Conclusions and expected outcomes: Only a limited number of institutes in Europe currently have the capacity to quantify the steroidal estrogens EE2 and E2 at their suggested EQS levels. This could cause problems for the EU watch list mechanism, where reliable exposure data are required. In this project we will provide harmonised methods for sample collection, sample extraction and data evaluation, and screening and risk assessment. This activity will provide a proof-of-concept for integrated monitoring of estrogenic substances and aims to bridge the gap between conventional analytical and effect-based monitoring.
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R. Kase, I. Werner, H. Hollert, E. Vermeirssen, S. Buchinger, et al.. Effect-based and chemical analytical monitoring for the steroidal estrogens : An international project to cope with a monitoring challenge. 25. SETAC Europe annual meeting, May 2015, Barcelone, Spain. pp.403. ⟨ineris-01852950⟩

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