The international environmental specimen banks—let’s get visible
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Environmental specimen banks (ESBs) are facilities that archive samples from the environment for future research and monitoring purposes. In addition, the long-term preservation of representative specimens is an important complement to environmental research and monitoring. Today, environmental specimen banking is experiencing a renaissance due to an increase in regulatory interest in ESB biota standards and trend data. The International Environmental Specimen Bank Group (IESB) promotes the worldwide development of techniques and strategies of environmental specimen banking and the international cooperation and collaboration among national ESBs. In order to provide a current and comprehensive overview on international environmental specimen banking activities, a questionnaire was sent to the national ESBs and asked for detailed information on the respective ESBs. The results show the rich diversity of national sampling programs, including more detailed information on archived samples, sampling strategies, and studies that have already been performed in the respective countries. All ESBs completing the survey expressed a strong interest in cooperating with other ESBs on a collaborative project. The collected information of national ESBs is intended to be made publicly available.
KeywordsEnvironmental specimen banking ESB International Contaminants Time trends
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