Our natural environment consists of an enormous variety of chemical compounds ...

Chemical World

They’re everywhere. In the cosmetics we use, the food we eat and the homes in which we live. Our daily lives are awash with chemicals. Every year, up to 400 million tonnes are produced and a thousand new substances concocted. Individually, each chemical, used in a minute quantity, may be harmless, but there’s growing concern about the combined effect as they accumulate in our bodies.

guardian.co.uk / Guardian News & Media Ltd. 2004

more about chemical pollution
more about water quality

Chemical Pollution

Chemical Pollution

Currently, there are millions of known chemical substances ( latest number can be found on the link). Approximately 100,000 of them occur in everyday products, and many more are in use throughout industry worldwide. A good part of them ends up sooner or later into surface and groundwaters. While the presence and concentration of so-called Priority Pollutants and classical Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are declining, there are strong indications that the complex mixture of numerous emerging pollutants including pesticides, biocides, personal care products, pharmaceuticals, additives to food and plastics, and many more pose a risk to aquatic ecosystems and human health.

SOLUTIONS searches for new and improved tools, models, and methods to support decisions in environmental and water policies. To this end, SOLUTIONS addresses major gaps in assessing the presence and effect of emerging pollutants including:

  • detection at very low concentration
  • toxicant identification
  • fate prediction
  • European scale exposure prediction
  • scenarios for pollution of the future
  • abatement options

Water Quality

Water Quality

Ecological and chemical quality of European rivers and lakes, as well as groundwaters, is endangered by many factors such as an overload with nutrients causing eutrophication, the channelization and interruption of many rivers by dams and weirs, and invasive species coming from other parts of the world with ships or by connection of different river basins with channels. One of the important factors contributing to the concert of multiple stress is the complex
cocktail of anthropogenic chemicals that can be found in water, sediments but also the organisms themselves, which may cause adverse effects on the community of organisms living in aquatic ecosystems. Humans are also exposed to that cocktail through for example the consumption of drinking water and fish.

The presence and concentration of certain pollutants in the waters of the EU is monitored. But, very probably, there are many more chemicals posing a risk to the natural environment and the human health. Despite significant management efforts addressing habitat quality, the good ecological status of European surface waters, as required by the Water Framework Directive -WFD-, is not achieved in most water bodies. Sensitive species are declining and important ecosystem goods and services are endangered.

SOLUTIONS searches for new and improved tools, models, and methods to support decisions in environmental and water policies. To this end, SOLUTIONS provides innovative approaches for assessing the effect of emerging pollutants on the status of water resources including:

  • effect-based monitoring
  • ecological assessment
  • toxicity prediction
  • mixture effect prediction
  • ecological and human risk modelling