Substance-related environmental monitoring

Work group ‘Environmental Monitoring’—Position paper
  • Heinz RüdelEmail author
  • Winfried Schröder
  • Karl Theo von der Trenck
  • Gerhard Andreas Wiesmüller



Due to the requirements of the EU Water Framework Directive and other legal regulations (e.g., national laws like the German Federal Soil Protection Act), but also due to the implementation of the new EU chemicals management system REACH, environmental monitoring will gain increasing importance for the surveillance of environmental quality as well as for the assessment of chemicals. Against this background, the Work Group on ‘Environmental Monitoring’ of the Division of ‘Environmental Chemistry and Ecotoxicology’ within the German Chemical Society has compiled a position paper on substance-related environmental monitoring.


Core elements of this position paper are the definitions of important terms like monitoring, exposure monitoring, effect monitoring, and integrated monitoring. Moreover, temporal and spatial aspects (monitoring of spatial distributions, trend monitoring, and retrospective monitoring) and their applications are discussed. The main focus of this position paper is the coverage of aspects which have to be observed for the preparation and implementation of a monitoring program. Essential is the clear specification of the targets of the monitoring which determine the development of the monitoring concept and its realization, e.g., if environmental media (compartments) or organisms are most appropriate as samples for the aim of the study. Of course, also the properties of the target substances are important (e.g., lipophilicity/bioaccumulation as pre-requisite for an exposure monitoring with organisms). Finally, the monitoring phases of sample planning, sampling, storage and transport of samples, selection of analytical methods, quality assurance measures as well as reporting are discussed.


An important issue for the future is to link the quantification of chemicals in environmental compartments (exposure and pollution monitoring) more closely to the study of biological effects (effect monitoring) than has been the case up to now. Furthermore, by inclusion of a spatial differentiation, a comprehensive evaluation of the state of an ecosystem can be obtained and the relevance of the results improved. Practical examples of monitoring studies which illustrate various aspects covered in this position paper will be presented in a series of publications by members of the Work Group in the following issues of this journal.


Monitoring Biomonitoring Human biomonitoring Effect monitoring Exposure monitoring Integrated monitoring 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Heinz Rüdel
    • 1
    Email author
  • Winfried Schröder
    • 2
  • Karl Theo von der Trenck
    • 3
  • Gerhard Andreas Wiesmüller
    • 4
  1. 1.Fraunhofer Institut fuer Molekularbiologie und Angewandte Oekologie (IME)SchmallenbergGermany
  2. 2.Lehrstuhl fuer LandschaftsoekologieHochschule VechtaVechtaGermany
  3. 3.Landesanstalt für UmweltMessungen und Naturschutz Baden-Württemberg (LUBW)KarlsruheGermany
  4. 4.Teilbank Humanproben und Datenbank, Umweltprobenbank des BundesUniversitätsklinikum MünsterMünsterGermany

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