Persistent chemicals and water resources protection


Several initiatives end-2017 and 2018 on identification of substances of concern to drinking water resources.

ECETOC role in supporting the development of a science-based framework to assess the potential concern for drinking water resources.


Terms of Reference

  1. Review current EU legislation pertaining to quality of water sources (GWD, DWD, WFD, Urban Wastewater Directive) as well as other national and international legislation (including US, Canada, Switzerland, Stockholm convention) and associated threshold criteria.
  2. Assess the appropriateness of the proposed PMT hazard-based approach versus a risk assessment and suitable risk management to guarantee long-term sustainable protection of water sources.
  3. Review the monitoring data available for levels of mono-constituent substances measured in groundwater and surface water and critically evaluate the currently proposed and eventually revised PMT/vPvM-criteria in the EU.
  4. Evaluate how and when to consider relevant metabolites in the PMT concept and in the context of protection of water sources via risk assessment.
  5. Evaluate the relevance and appropriateness of the current mobility criteria (‘M’), and, if necessary, make recommendations for parameters/methods to assess hydraulic transport potential to water sources and consider development of a tiered testing approach.
  6. Evaluate the appropriateness of the additional T criteria in the PMT concept, in light of the existing ones within the PBT concept, and its relevance to a risk assessment approach.

Timeline and deliverables

The outcome of the work will be an ECETOC Technical Report and/or published article.

A Kick-off meeting for the Task Force took place at ECETOC on 18th January 2019, and it is foreseen that the Task Force will complete its work by end-2020.

The Task Force presented its progress at the virtual SETAC Europe meeting (SETAC SciCon) in May 2020.

This comprised:

One platform presentation entitled ‘Persistent chemicals and water resources protection: Conclusions from the ECETOC Task Force’ – Click here for document

The following four poster presentations:

‘Necessity of Joint Consideration of Persistence and Mobility for Determining the Leaching Potential of Chemicals’ – Click here for document

‘Review of monitoring data and critical evaluation of proposed P/vP and M/vM criteria’ – Click here for document

‘Consideration of Relevant Metabolites in the Context of the PMT Concept and Protection of Water Resources’ – Click here for document

‘Review of predictive risk assessment approaches for the transport of chemicals to groundwater’ – Click here for document