EU agency: action needed on ‘cocktail effect’ in water bodies

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Extra measures are needed to tackle the presence of ‘cocktail effect’ chemicals in European water bodies, the European Environmental Agency has concluded.

In its report Chemicals in European Waters, the EEA said action on a number of priority substances in lakes and rivers “seem to have been effective” in preventing their entry into surface waters, but there are more chemicals in the environment “about which we know little”.

These priority substances include dichloromethane, trichloroethylene, 1,2-dichloroethane (EDC), refrigerant carbon tetrachloride and degreaser tetrachloroethylene.

Challenges remain in effectively dealing with mercury and brominated flame retardants, and with many harmful chemicals which have not been prioritised for monitoring under the EU Water Framework Directive, the report said.

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