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Environments 2014, 1(1), 92-106; doi:10.3390/environments1010092

An Ecotoxicological Approach to Assess the Environmental Quality of Freshwater Basins: A Possible Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive?

DiSTA, University of Insubria, Via Valleggio 11, 22100 Como, Italy
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Received: 16 May 2014 / Revised: 4 August 2014 / Accepted: 4 August 2014 / Published: 20 August 2014
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Abstract

Within the context of the Water Framework Directive, the need to identify new monitoring tools in support of the traditional chemical monitoring process is emerging. Chemical characterization by itself does not provide specific biological information about potential hazards to organisms, in particular when facing cocktails of contaminants. Therefore, ecotoxicity tests can represent a useful tool supporting the chemical information. In the present work, the value of ecotoxicity tests as an effect-based tool for monitoring freshwater and sediment quality of the south-western basin of Lake Como (Northern Italy) was evaluated, assessing the potential risk of pollutants. Results obtained from D. magna toxicity tests showed a temporal variation of toxic response in relation to the variability of organic micropollutant load characteristics of urban rivers. Sediment ecotoxicity test data showed the spatial variability of the sediments’ contamination within the lake, confirmed by chemical analysis of two classes of pollutants (dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) and polychlorobiphenyls (PCB)). The observed effects on organisms in laboratory tests caused by a mixture of almost unknown chemicals underline the importance of integrating effect-based tools into monitoring efforts. View Full-Text
Keywords: sediment ecotoxicity tests; freshwater ecotoxicity tests; biomonitoring; effect-based tools; organic micropollutants sediment ecotoxicity tests; freshwater ecotoxicity tests; biomonitoring; effect-based tools; organic micropollutants
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Roberta, B.; Benedetta, P.; Silvia, Q. An Ecotoxicological Approach to Assess the Environmental Quality of Freshwater Basins: A Possible Implementation of the EU Water Framework Directive? Environments 2014, 1, 92-106.

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