The European legislation, and in particular the Water Framework Directive requires the development of cost efficient monitoring tools that can provide the required information for the assessment of water contamination. Passive sampling methods represent one of the novel tools that have a potential to be used in various regulatory monitoring programmes aimed at assessing the levels of chemical pollutants. These methods are particularly interesting for sampling polar organic pollutants in water because they provide representative information of the water quality over extended time periods (days to weeks) in environments with fluctuating contaminant concentrations. This is achieved by integrative sampling of pollutants over the whole sampler deployment period. These tools can be coupled to toxicity testing using bioassays that give information on toxic and ecotoxic hazards associated to substances that are present, these substances being identified or not. In this study the polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) was used in surface water to evaluate the water contamination by polar organic compounds and their potential toxicity.
Keywords: Biotests, hormones, passive sampling, pesticides, pharmaceuticals, POCIS