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Effect-Based Monitoring in Water Safety Planning. Factsheet for water operators

This factsheet of the Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC) provides an overview of the key information on the use and interpretation of Effect-Based Monitoring (EBM) for operators. STOWA takes part in the GWRC.

With an estimated 350,000 chemicals and mixtures registered for commercial production and use, water bodies globally contain a complex mixture of chemical contaminants (e.g., pesticides, pharmaceuticals and personal care products, flame retardants, surfactants, industrial chemicals), and their transformation products.

Targeted chemical analysis is typically used for water quality monitoring; however, only a small fraction of chemicals potentially present in the water will be detected by this type of analysis. Further, some chemicals may be present below the analytical limit of detection but may still contribute to a biological effect resulting from exposure to complex low-level mixtures of chemicals via different exposure routes (so-called “cocktail effect”). This asks for effect-based monitoring in water safety, by means of in vitro assays.

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