Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

LRI-ECO23: Combining passive sampling and toxicity profiling to assess mixture toxicity of surface waters – Deadline: 1 September 2013


The current approach used under the Water Framework Directive (WFD) for identifying a priority list of individual substances of concern is problematic. This is increasingly recognized by EU member states. The WFD is exploring possibilities to apply passive samplers for surface water monitoring programmes. Passive sampling is a rapidly developing technological area with already a broad use in applied environmental sciences and in a broader context than just the WFD. Combining passive sampling with classical bioassays and new in-vitro cell-based screening tests provides new opportunities for toxicity assessment of surface waters, emerging pollutants and effluents, while the technique includes the impact of mixtures.

An effect-based monitoring programme has the potential to replace individual substances based approaches and increase cost efficiency and efficacy. Testing the new techniques in well-studied sampling sites would enable good comparison with traditional water sampling methods and enhance proper understanding of the actual ecological effects resulting from the new technology. A benchmarking including urban wastewater treatment plants (WWTP) will enable comparative assessment of measured toxicity.


This project aims to:

  1. Develop a cost-effective approach that addresses mixture toxicity.
  2. Provide a cost-effective alternative to'chemical quality' assessment under WFD.
  3. Increase industry experience and involvement with the proposed techniques and promote industry involvement in the relevant policy developments.
  4. Provide a measure of chemical impact of surface waters by including WWTP effluents as a benchmark.


Apply passive sampling and combining classical bioassays with rapid in-vitro screening tests.

Related links

Download here the full version of the RfP LRI-ECO23.

Timing: 2 years

LRI funding: € 300.000

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