The core issues of SG “Assessment and Control of Hazardous Substances in water” relate to all questions concerning natural and anthropogenic substances and their transformation products including nano particles that have negative impacts on human or environmental health. Specifically, the group focuses on novel analytical methods, bioassays, occurrence in water, sludge and contaminated soils/sediments, their fate and effects in the environment, removal in water treatment systems, risk assessment and regulatory aspects. Such data are the base for risk assessment and risk management focusing on the reduction of the occurrence of organic micro-pollutants in water bodies to improve water quality for a safe environment and safe drinking water.
With increasingly limited supplies of high quality water, the selection and regulation of substances (source control and end of pipe) with a negative impact on human health or the environment is of crucial importance for the protection of ecosystems and water resources. Currently, the biggest challenge is to find adapt current analytical and risk analysis approaches to integrate novel methods (e.g., non-targeted analyses, bioanalytical tools) and develop mitigation processes for emerging substances as well as newly described effects (e.g., epigenetic, endocrine effects).
The key innovations in the assessment of emerging contaminants are currently focused on improving assessment of their negative impacts and identifying proper ways for their elimination and minimization. An important task will be the development and implementation of an integrated approach including in-silico, in-vitro, in-vivo and in-situ investigations for a comprehensive assessment of negative ecological and human health effects. Although scientific knowledge on micropollutants as an environmental issue is developing fast, practical applications for the reduction of micropollutant loads to protect water bodies are lacking behind. The evaluation and assessment of advanced treatment techniques need to be improved; indicator compounds for specific contamination sources, mixtures and whole sample toxicity should also be addressed. This specialist group acts as a conduit for Interactions, discussions and exchange of experience and knowledge on impacts and technological improvements to further advance the field.