Effect of monitoring strategies and reference data of the German Environmental Specimen Banking Program
Paulus, Martin , Bartel, M., Klein, R., Nentwich, K., Quack, M., Teubner, D., Wagner, G.
Nuleonika (2005), 50 (Supplement 1), 53-58
The constitution of the German Environmental Specimen Bank (ESB) has started in 1985, subsequent to a successful pilot study concerning the feasibility. Since that time, a multitude of technological and methodical standards have been developed, which allow for a high quality of the storage-samples and of the specimen characterization. While the storage-samples are kept for retrospective analysis, by now, already comprehensive data on the material-developing in the environment are available due to a real time monitoring of selected environmental chemicals over a period of up to twenty years. Thus, spatial and temporal trends can be described. Since the state of knowledge on critical tissue concentrations in the sublethal range is extremely low at present, it is however not possible to accomplish a direct assessment of relevancy of the substance concentrations. Hence, within the scope of the German ESB Program, the following strategies on assessment of relevancy are observed: use of biomarkers, histopathological examinations, biometric specimen characterization, use of ecological indicator groups, and development of a reference system with analytical and biometric data. Thus, for example endocrine effects in male breams in the river Saar, which correlate directly to operational discharges from municipal sewage plants, could be detected. By histopathological examinations, fibrotic and necrotic tissue adaptations on the gonads had been ascertained cumulatively, which unambiguously imply a restricted fertility of the male breams. In the river Rhine, an improved growth along the timeline could be described on the basis of biometric characterization of breams, which is regarded as rate for the reaction to all structural and material changes in the water body. Presently, with the development of a reference system based on the data collected in the scope of the Environmental Specimen Bank, a basis for the assessment of monitoring results with accumulation indicators is provided.