European environmental experts have banded together to develop techniques to monitor mixed contaminants and develop health alerts for surrounding areas, according to a press release from release from journal publisher Springer.
In the European Union the Water Framework Directive legislation aims to make all surface water and groundwater in Europe clean enough to earn a “good status” rating in 2015. The new monitoring techniques will be part of this effort.
Some of the new tools are bioassays to detect estrogenicity, biomarkers to detect mutagen effects, in vivo tests to indicate neurotoxicity and embryotoxicity, ecological indicating tests and effect directed analyses for assessing unknown pollutants.
These techniques can be used as screening tools or to analyze mixed or unusual chemicals. They can also be part of an early environmental warning system assist in investigating a significant decline in a specific species of interest. They can also help determine sediment quality.
The monitoring technique development has been led primarily by the Swedish and Italian governments but the program has EU wide support.