Soft and sour: The challenge of setting environmental quality standards for bioavailable metal concentration in Fennoscandinavian freshwaters
Number of Authors: 5
2015 (English)In: Environmental Science and Policy, ISSN 1462-9011, E-ISSN 1873-6416, Vol. 54, 210-217 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
The European Union Water Framework Directive (WFD) requires member states to ensure that all inland and coastal waters achieve 'good' water quality status. To this end, the WFD has set environmental quality standards (EQS) or Water quality criteria (WQC) for priority pollutants that include the four metals Cd, Ni, Pb and Hg. Many states have also chosen to set EQS for Cu and Zn. The use of bioavailability models to set EQS, paves the way for accepting higher local metal concentrations in waters where metal bioavailability is deemed low. The Biotic Ligand Model (BLM) concept has been proposed as a tool for estimating metal bioavailability and for calculating local EQS in the EU guidance document. The BLM estimates metal bioavailability based on the dissolved metal concentration and key ancillary water chemistry parameters (acidity, hardness and organic carbon content). The BLMs developed so far, have only been validated for water chemistry input parameters typical of Central Europe. However, the pH, alkalinity and dissolved organic carbon levels of a significant fraction of Fennoscandinavian (Finland, Norway and Sweden) freshwaters are outside the calibration range of currently available BLMs. The levels of Ca2+, alkalinity and pH in 75%, 29% and 22%, respectively, of the ca. 2500 Fennoscandinavian freshwater bodies investigated in this survey were outside the calibration range of tested BLMs. Moreover, a comparison of the ability of the tested BLMs to predict the acute and chronic copper toxicity to Daphnia magma and Rainbow trout indicated that the BLMs should be used with caution outside their current validation range. We conclude that more work is needed to extend the application of BLMs in the practical risk assessment to encompass a broader range of European freshwater bodies.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 54, 210-217 p.
Bioavailability tools, BLM, Fennoscandinavian, Soft freshwater, Copper, Zinc, Nickel, EQS
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Research subject Applied Environmental Science
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-122908DOI: 10.1016/j.envsci.2015.07.007ISI: 000362603400022OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-122908DiVA: diva2:871946