Workshop of the German Environmental Specimen Bank on monitoring of priority pollutants and emerging substances in sewage sludge
Rüdel, Heinz; Weinfurtner, Karlheinz; Koschorreck, Jan
Environ Sci Pollut Res 17 (2010), 5, 1183-1185
Conference report: Schmallenberg, Germany, June 24 to 25, 2009
Motivation and background
Each monitoring study examines only one fraction of the pollutants in a sample, mostly a spectrum of currently interesting compounds. Therefore, each monitoring ideally should be combined with an archiving of the samples. This would later allow a retrospective monitoring of such substances that seemed to not be relevant for the current investigations, or for which no validated analytical methods were available. Due to such considerations, an environmental specimen bank (ESB) was established in Germany (Umweltprobenbank (UPB)). It is based on a regular and standardized collection of representative samples that are archived for future investigations. Examples of retrospective monitoring investigations and the application of their results for risk assessment of chemicals are already documented for biota samples as well as for human specimens retrieved from the UPB archive.
Today, major inputs into the environment occur via the wastewater path by sewage treatment plants (STP). Thus, several investigations were accomplished recently to characterize the contaminant pattern of STP sludges. Sludges may also be potential sample material for an ESB. On behalf of the UPB group of the German Federal Environment Agency (UBA), a workshop was organized to share experiences with experts from sludge monitoring programs, to balance the current state of research on the methodology and to discuss the need for sludge investigations for chemicals risk assessment. More than 30 scientists attended the workshop at Fraunhofer IME in Schmallenberg in June 2009, and 11 participants presented their results and ideas for discussion.