Home > Research > Publications & Outputs > A new approach to using Diffusive Gradient in T...


Text available via DOI:

View graph of relations

A new approach to using Diffusive Gradient in Thin-films (DGT) labile concentration for Water Framework Directive chemical status assessment: adaptation of Environmental Quality Standard to DGT for cadmium, nickel and lead

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

E-pub ahead of print
  • Isabelle Amouroux
  • Jean-Louis Gonzalez
  • Stephane Guesdon
  • María Jesús Belzunce-Segarra
  • Philippe Bersuder
  • Thi Bolam
  • Miguel Caetano
  • Margarida Correia Dos Santos
  • Joana Larreta
  • Luc Lebrun
  • Barbara Marras
  • Vanessa Millán Gabet
  • Brendan McHugh
  • Iratxe Menchaca
  • Florence Menet-Nédélec
  • Natalia Montero
  • Olivier Perceval
  • Olivier Pierre-Duplessix
  • Fiona Regan
  • Jose Germán Rodríguez
  • And 4 others
  • Marta Rodrigo Sanz
  • Marco Schintu
  • Blánaid White
  • Hao Zhang
Article number29
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>31/12/2023
<mark>Journal</mark>Environmental Sciences Europe
Issue number1
Publication StatusE-pub ahead of print
Early online date29/04/23
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Integrative passive samplers, such as DGT (Diffusive Gradients in Thin-films), are identified in European Technical Guidance Documents as promising tools to improve the quality of the assessment, in the context of the WFD (EU Water Framework Directive). However, DGT results cannot yet be used directly in a regulatory framework to assess the chemical status of water bodies, as DGT labile concentrations cannot be directly compared to the metal AA-EQSmarine water (Annual Average Environmental Quality Standard) established by the WFD, which are defined in the dissolved concentration. Therefore, prior to using DGT results in a regulatory context, for cadmium, nickel and lead, an adaptation of existing AA-EQSmarine water for DGTs should be pursued, ensuring at least the same level of protection. In this sense, in the framework of the MONITOOL project, a robust database of dissolved and labile metal concentrations in transitional and coastal waters, for adapting the existing AA-EQSmarine water for DGT technique, was obtained. Building on these results, this study proposes a methodology and provides values and equations for using DGT results for the chemical status assessment of marine waters, by adapting the EQSmarine water to adapted EQSDGT or predicting dissolved concentrations from DGT results. Based on available dataset, a first simulation of “chemical status” assessment per MONITOOL sampling site using DGT measured labile concentrations was carried out and the results were compared to an assessment based on dissolved concentration to check their compliance. These results demonstrate that the use of DGT passive samplers is appropriate for the metal concentrations level encountered in the marine environment. Further work is recommended to test the effectiveness of the methodology proposed in this study under WFD conditions on more sites and to establish common strategy guidelines for the use of DGT passive samplers in monitoring.