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Exploratory effort to measure the presence of emergent micropollutants

An exceptional campaign to measure micropollutants in aquatic environments has been launched throughout France. The results will assist in drafting a new list of relevant substances to be monitored on the national level starting in 2014. The study, initiated by the Ecology ministry, is now being carried out by various research organisations. It is coordinated and funded by Onema, with the support of the Water agencies, and is part of the national micropollutants plan.

Approximately 20 participants (research organisations, Water agencies, analysis labs, engineering firms, etc.) joined forces early in the year in continental France and the overseas territories. The project will in fact consist of a series of successive campaigns in 2012, three on surface waters, one on coastal waters, one on lakes and two on groundwater in the overseas territories.

Approximately 30 000 analyses
Efforts will be made to detect almost 180 substances belonging to around ten families of emerging pollutants (pesticides, medicinal residues, biocides, etc.), including 16 substances specific to the overseas territories (essentially pesticides). The samples will be drawn by the Water agencies from almost 250 stations in the WFD monitoring network covering the entire country. The samples will then be sent to specialised research labs, previously selected with assistance from the Aquaref lab. The labs will run a total of almost 30 000 tests.

The results, once validated and stored in databases, will be analysed by Ineris (surface waters), Ifremer (coastal waters) and BRGM (groundwater). They will provide new knowledge on the presence of emerging pollutants and reliable data on substances previously monitored under less than ideal conditions.

This project will assist the committee of experts, managed by Onema and Ineris, in drawing up a new national list of relevant substances to be monitored. The new list is one of the priorities in the national micropollutants plan.


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