Surface water, groundwater, the sea or other brackish sources of drinking water production are generally exposed to a complex mixture of pollutants associated with household, industrial, and agricultural waste. Current environmental monitoring of these water bodies is based on a comparison between concentrations of chemically target analyzed priority pollutants (n=33+8) and their environmental threshold values. Given the unknown composition of the pollutant mixtures, this classical approach does not cover the entire load of pollution and may overlook the presence of bioactive chemicals. Furthermore, it is also becoming evident that not only acutely toxic chemicals are posing human and ecotoxicological risks but even chronic exposure to low concentrations of pollutants can have profound effect as well. Thus, the necessity for good water quality has increased with demand for sustainable industrial practices and effects-directed investigations are increasingly attractive for safeguard to the quality of the water. The general aim of this work area is to promote the applicability of effect-based bioanalytical tools for safety assessment of drinking water by striving for faster, cheaper, reliable complementary techniques to traditional chemical analysis. The appropriate selection of in vitro bioassays for hazards identification in water samples (as extensively will be discussed in D41.1) enables the biological effect screening of pollutants at microchemical quantities. In order to make a prediction of potential ecological risks of the toxicant mixtures the establishment of bioassay guidelines, e.g. the introduction to trigger values is perquisite. This deliverable is going to set the scene and challenges in the application of trigger values for risk assessment of drinking waters with in vitro bioassays.
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