A review on environmental monitoring of water organic pollutants identified by EU guidelines

20 Aug 2020

The contamination of fresh water is a global concern. The huge impact of natural and anthropogenic organic substances that are constantly released into the environment, demands a better knowledge of the chemical status of Earth?s surface water. Water quality monitoring studies have been performed targeting different substances and/or classes of substances, in different regions of the world, using different types of sampling strategies and campaigns. This review article aims to gather the avail- able dispersed information regarding the occurrence of priority substances (PSs) and contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) that must be monitored in Europe in surface water, according to the Euro- pean Union Directive 2013/39/EU and the Watch List of Decision 2015/495/EU, respectively. Other specific organic pollutants not considered in these EU documents as substances of high concern, but with reported elevated frequency of detection at high concentrations, are also discussed. The search comprised worldwide publications from 2012, considering at least one of the following criteria: 4 sam- pling campaigns per year, wet and dry seasons, temporal and/or spatial monitoring of surface (river, estuarine, lake and/or coastal waters) and ground waters. The highest concentrations were found for: (i) the PSs atrazine, alachlor, trifluralin, heptachlor, hexachlorocyclohexane, polycyclic aromatic hydrocar- bons and di(2-ethylhexyl)phthalate; (ii) the CECs azithromycin, clarithromycin, erythromycin, diclofenac, 17 -ethinylestradiol, imidacloprid and 2-ethylhexyl 4-methoxycinnamate; and (iii) other unregulated organic compounds (caffeine, naproxen, metolachlor, estriol, dimethoate, terbuthylazine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, trimethoprim, ciprofloxacin, ketoprofen, atenolol, Bisphenol A, metoprolol, carbofuran, malathion, sulfamethoxazole, carbamazepine and ofloxacin). Most frequent substances as well as those found at highest concentrations in different seasons and regions, together with available risk assessment data, may be useful to identify possible future PS candidates