Publication Details

Category Data Publication
DOI 10.1594/PANGAEA.940755
Licence creative commons licence
Title (Primary) Concentrations of 366 emerging chemicals in 56 European wastewater treatment plant effluents by LC-HRMS target screening
Author Finckh, S.; Beckers, L.-M.; Busch, W. ORCID logo ; Carmona, E. ORCID logo ; Dulio, V.; Kramer, L.; Krauss, M. ORCID logo ; Posthuma, L.; Schulze, T. ORCID logo ; Slootweg, J.; von der Ohe, P.C.; Brack, W.
Source Titel PANGAEA
Year 2022
Department BIOTOX; WANA
Language englisch
Topic T9 Healthy Planet
Abstract In this study, 56 effluent samples from 52 European wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were investigated for the occurrence of 499 emerging chemicals (ECs) and their associated potential risks to the environment. The two main objectives were (i) to extend our knowledge on chemicals occurring in treated wastewater, and (ii) to identify and prioritise compounds of concern based on three different risk assessment approaches for the identification of consensus mixture risk drivers of concern. Approaches include (i) PNEC and EQS-based regulatory risk quotients (RQs), (ii) species sensitivity distribution (SSD)-based hazard units (HUs) and (iii) toxic units (TUs) for three biological quality elements (BQEs) algae, crustacean, and fish.
For this purpose, solid-phase extracts were analysed with wide-scope chemical target screening via liquid chromatography high-resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS), resulting in 366 detected compounds, with concentrations ranging from <1 ng/L to >100 µg/L. The detected chemicals were categorized with respect to critical information relevant for risk assessment and management prioritization including: (1) frequency of occurrence, (2) measured concentrations, (3) use groups, (4) persistence & bioaccumulation, and (5) modes of action. A comprehensive assessment using RQ, HU and TU indicated exceedance of risk thresholds for the majority of effluents with RQ being the most sensitive metric. In total, 293 out of the 366 compounds were identified as mixture risk contributors in one of the approaches, while 32 chemicals were established as consensus mixture risk contributors of high concern, including a high percentage (66%) of pesticides and biocides. For samples which have passed an advanced treatment using ozonation or activated carbon (AC), consistently much lower risks were estimated.
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Finckh, S., Beckers, L.-M., Busch, W., Carmona, E., Dulio, V., Kramer, L., Krauss, M., Posthuma, L., Schulze, T., Slootweg, J., von der Ohe, P.C., Brack, W. (2022):
Concentrations of 366 emerging chemicals in 56 European wastewater treatment plant effluents by LC-HRMS target screening
PANGAEA 10.1594/PANGAEA.940755