Effect-based and chemical analytical methods to monitor estrogens under the European Water Framework Directive.
Sarah Könemann a, Robert Kase, Eszter Simon, Kees Swart, Sebastian Buchinger, Michael Schlüsener, Henner Hollert, Beate I. Escherf, Inge Werner, Selim Aït-Aïssa, Etienne Vermeirssen, Valeria Dulio, Sara Valsecchi, Stefano Polesello, Peter Behnisch, Barbora Javurkova, Olivier Perceval, Carolina Di Paolo, Daniel Olbrich, Eliska Sychrova, Rita Schlichting, Lomig Leborgne, Manfred Clara, Christoph Scheffknecht, Yves Marneffe, Carole Chalon, Petr Tušil, Premysl Soldàn, Brigitte von Danwitz, Julia Schwaiger, Maria Isabel San Martín Becares, Francesca Bersani, Klara Hilscherová, Georg Reifferscheid, Thomas Ternes, Mario Carere
Trends in Analytical Chemistry, 2018


The European Decision EU 2015/495 included three steroidal estrogens, estrone, 17β-estradiol and 17αethinyl estradiol, in the “watch-list” of the Water Framework Directive (WFD). As consequence, these substances have to be chemically monitored at the level of their environmental quality standards, which can be challenging. This project aimed to identify reliable effect-based methods (EBMs) for screening of endocrine disrupting compounds, to harmonise monitoring and data interpretation methods, and to contribute to the current WFD review process. Water and wastewater samples were collected across Europe and analysed using chemical analyses and EBMs. The results showed that 17β-estradiol equivalents were comparable among methods, while results can vary between methods based on the relative potencies for individual substances. Further, derived 17β-estradiol equivalents were highly correlated with LC-MS/MS analyses. This study shows that the inclusion of effect-based screening methods into monitoring programmes for estrogens in surface waterbodies would be a valuable complement to chemical analysis.

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