Effect-based methods in combination with state-of-the-art chemical analysis for assessment of water quality as integrated approach

Int J Hyg Environ Health. 2019 May;222(4):607-614. doi: 10.1016/j.ijheh.2019.03.001. Epub 2019 Mar 18.


Complex mixtures of chemicals in waste and finally in surface water may pose a risk to the environment and also to human health. This contamination of surface water cannot be addressed with chemical analysis alone. Tools are required to detect and assess these micropollutants which might cause adverse effects. Effect-directed analysis (EDA) with effect-based methods in combination with state-of-the-art chemical analysis can meet this challenge. The present paper summarizes and outlines current experiences with analytical tools and bioassays as integrated approach for assessment of water quality. The need for a holistic and solution-oriented procedure of water quality monitoring is described. To integrate and evaluate existing information about toxicity pathways, which are essential for the EDA approach, the adverse outcome pathway (AOP) concept is useful and recommended. An integration of AOP concept in water quality assessment and further requirements are discussed.

Keywords: Bioassays; Endocrine disruptors; Micropollutants; Risk assessment; Waste water treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biological Assay
  • Environmental Monitoring
  • Waste Disposal, Fluid
  • Water Pollutants, Chemical / analysis*
  • Water Quality*


  • Water Pollutants, Chemical