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Improvement of SQGs through the incorporation of chronic exposure-effect model


Sediments are extremely important to the food web and serve as the ultimate repository and source of most of the contaminants, including metals. For this reason, it is appropriate that regulatory attention addresses the ecological risks that these sediment contaminants might pose. So much so that, the need to understand the impacts of contaminated sediments on aquatic environmental quality is implicit in the text of the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), and in the Directive on Environmental Quality Standards in the field of water policy, different metals have been included in the group of substance identified as priority on account of the substantial risk they pose to or via the aquatic environment. Currently, the first tool to assess metal sediment quality is the use of Sediment Quality Guidelines (SQGs). The SQGs represent an important tool for flagging potentially toxic metal levels in sediments, indicating which sediments may be or no concern and those which merit a closer-look. However, the level of protection offered by current SQGs is far to be totally efficacy. Significantly more research is required into the chronic and sub-lethal effects of dissolved metals and the metal exposures from dietary sources (e.g. food and sediment ingestion). The purpose of this project is to develop an environmental exposure-effect model to predict copper chronic effects in order to improve the effectiveness of the SQGs. This project addresses directly the Community policy established by Water Framework Directive 2000/60/ec and enhances furthermore the development of ecotoxicological tools to prevent the pollution.

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Calle Serrano 117
28006 Madrid
Activity type
Research Organisations
EU contribution
€ 228 338,45
Administrative Contact
Carlos Manuel Abad Ruiz (Mr.)