Occurrence and Concentration of Dissolved Silver in Rivers in England and Wales

  • A. PetersEmail author
  • P. Simpson
  • G. Merrington
  • K. Rothenbacher
  • L. Sturdy


There is a paucity of monitoring data for silver in freshwater environments in Europe. There are several reasons for this, including the relatively low levels of silver in the aquatic environment and the requirement for commensurately low levels of detection (<100 ng l−1), which are generally not routinely achieved in analytical laboratories. In this study 425 separate analytical determinations for dissolved (<0.45 μm) silver from 84 Environment Agency monitoring stations were carried out. Sampling was carried out on a monthly basis over a period of 6 months. Of the 425 samples, 346 were reported as having dissolved silver concentrations below the limit of quantification (6.6 ng l−1) and, of these, 280 samples were reported as below the reporting limit of detection (3 ng l−1). The mean of the maximum dissolved silver concentrations reported at each station was calculated as 6.1 ng l−1 using a statistical extrapolation technique to allow for the high level of censorship in the dataset. The maximum mean dissolved silver concentration recorded at a station was 19.8 ng l−1. A freshwater Predicted No Effect Concentration (PNEC) of 40 ng l−1 was used in this study.


Silver Exposure Freshwater Monitoring 



This work was a collaborative project between the Environment Agency of England and Wales and Precious Metals and Rhenium Consortia. The authors are grateful to Shaun Fletcher and Alan Muglestone at the National Laboratory Service, Environment Agency, and Bruce Brown from wca environment.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Peters
    • 1
    Email author
  • P. Simpson
    • 1
  • G. Merrington
    • 1
  • K. Rothenbacher
    • 2
  • L. Sturdy
    • 3
  1. 1.WCA Environment Ltd. Brunel HouseFaringdonUK
  2. 2.Precious Metals and Rhenium ConsortiumBrusselsBelgium
  3. 3.Environment AgencyWallingfordUK

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