There is a mismatch between the thousands of chemicals reaching the aquatic environment and those considered as priority pollutants under the Water Framework Directive. These priority chemicals are usually well-researched chemicals, while other chemicals with toxic potential are not considered.
Furthermore, mixture effects of multiple pollutants are not considered. This mismatch can will be bridged by identifying new chemicals with toxic properties in the tissues of fish caught in European rivers and assessing their mixture effects.
Tissue extracts will be screened for toxic effects and active fractions subjected to cutting-edge chemical analytical technologies to reveal novel, previously unidentified chemicals. The combined effects of chemicals will be assessed, and those with the largest contribution to a mixture effect identified in order to arrive at a new re-prioritised list of toxic chemicals to be considered for regulation.