The use of effect-based methods in determining contaminants of emerging concern in the soil-water system

  • A. (Alie) Talen

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


One of the challenges in current and future protection of the soil-water system is dealing with contaminants of emerging concern. Currently, environmental quality standards are missing for contaminants of emerging concern. In addition, the current analytical methods are limited because of the relatively low concentrations, the non-defined standards and the variety of the contaminants.
In this study the possilities of effect-based methods for detecting and evaluating contaminants via their response to the environment are investigated by a literature review and assessed against criteria. The practical interpretation of the application and implementation of effect-based methods in the Dutch soil policy has been reviewed by practitioners in a workshop. The literature review revealed eight types of effect-based methods that can be applied to the soil-water system. Of these eight types, in vitro bioassays and in vivo bioassays best meet the established criteria.
Both the literature study and the workshop with practitioners showed that effect-based methods must be standardized in order to be widely used in the soil-water system. The translation of measured effects and possible risks is currently unclear. Therefore, standards must be drawn up for effect-based methods with attention to the differences in human and ecological risks.
Date of Award16 Dec 2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorWilfried Ivens (Examiner) & Angelique Lansu (Supervisor)


  • contaminants of emerging concern (CECs)
  • soil-water system
  • effect-based method (EBM)
  • in vitro bioassays
  • soil policy
  • practitioners

Master's Degree

  • Master Environmental Sciences

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