A crucial element of the integrated approach is the Effect-Directed Analysis (EDA) developed by the department. The EDA is used first to determine the toxic effect of a large group of chemicals in a sample of sediment, house dust or plant, animal or human tissue. Only then, and only if necessary, will the department carry out tests to identify the individual micropollutant (or group of micropollutants) responsible for the effects in question.
Rivers and riverbeds can, for example, contain hundreds of types of micropollutants, including carcinogenic, neurotoxic and hormone disrupting substances. The EDA gives a reliable estimate of the toxic activity in fish and river sediments and, by using high-performance technologies such as gas and liquid chromatography and mass spectrometry, this can be linked to the identity of one or more chemicals.
Dr Marja Lamoree / Dr Timo Hamers / Prof. dr Pim Leonards / Dr Jessica Legradi