The JRC produced a fish reference material certified for its content of two priority substances, hexachlorobenzene and hexacachlorobutadiene. A novel approach for the processing of the fish material was taken by producing a homogenous and stable reference material in the form of a wet paste to mimic a realistic fish sample.
The quality of water is of the highest importance. In sampling the views of European citizens on what they are worried about, nearly half of the respondents are concerned about water pollution (47 %). A report from the European Parliamentary Research Service in 20151 stated that a full implementation of the existing EU water legislation resulting in a good status of all water bodies (rivers, lakes, ground and coastal waters) would generate annual benefits of at least EUR 2,8 billion.
However, more than 40 % of surface water bodies are reported to having an 'unknown chemical status'. Country reports show main challenges and most pressing implementation gaps across Member States2. Therefore, the assessment of the EU surface water quality status still poses a challenge. Multiple factors need to be considered such as sampling strategies, lack of reliable analytical methods, selection of suitable biota matrices, bio-accumulative characteristics, etc.
The bridging of the many implementation gaps also depends on the availability of measurement quality assurance tools such as fit-for-purpose reference materials to be used in the monitoring of EU surface waters as prescribed by Directive 2009/90/EC.
As Directive 2013/39/EU recognises that biota is a legitimate monitoring tool for assessing water quality and establishes environmental quality standards (EQS) in biota for some hydrophobic priority substances, the JRC has produced a novel fish certified reference material (CRM), ERM-CE100 for the analysis of two chlorinated priority pollutants. ERM-CE100 is certified for its contents of hexachlorobenzene and hexachlorobutadiene. The fresh-like texture of the reference material (it is in the form of a wet paste) enhances the comparability of this material towards routine (realistic) biota samples.
This CRM supports the validation of analytical methods for water monitoring, ensuring the quality and comparability of measurement results in the Water Framework Directive legislative context.
1European Parliamentary Research Service, 2015. Water Legislation: Cost of Non-Europe Report.
2The EU Environmental Implementation Review: Common challenges and how to combine efforts to deliver better results, COM(2017) 63 final
Read more in: I. Dosis et al. "Addressing Analytical Challenges of the Environmental Monitoring for the Water Framework Directive: ERM-CE100, a New Biota Certified Reference Material ", Analytical Chemistry 89 (2017) 2514-2521, doi: 10.1021/acs.analchem.6b04682
- 7 april 2017