Tag Archives: Netherlands

No farmers, no food

“Thousands of farmers shut down highways in a go-slow protest converging on the Dutch capital Monday, as they protested being victimised by a government trying to meet European Union emissions laws by cracking down on agriculture.” click here

Perfluoroalkylated substances in Drinking Water; Netherlands and Greece

Zafeiraki E, Costopoulou D, Vassiliadou I, Leondiadis L, Dassenakis E, Traag W, Hoogenboom RL, van Leeuwen SP. Determination of perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) in drinking water from the Netherlands and Greece. Food Addit Contam Part A Chem Anal Control Expo Risk Assess. 2015 Sep 14.

In the present study 11 perfluoroalkylated substances (PFASs) were analysed in drinking tap water samples from the Netherlands (n = 37) and from Greece (n = 43) by applying LC-MS/MS and isotope dilution. PFASs concentrations above the limit of quantification, LOQ (0.6 ng/L) were detected in 20.9% of the samples from Greece. Total PFAS concentrations ranged between 8) were only rarely detected. In the drinking water samples from the eastern part of the Netherlands, where drinking water is sourced from groundwater reservoirs, no PFASs were detected. This demonstrates that exposure to PFASs through drinking water in the Netherlands is dependent on the source. Additionally, five samples of bottled water from each country were analysed in the current study, with all of them originating from ground wells. In these samples, all PFASs were below the LOQ.

Cyanobacterial Blooms in Eutrophic Urban Ponds

Guido Waajen, Elisabeth Faassen, Miquel Lürling.  Eutrophic urban ponds suffer from cyanobacterial blooms: Dutch examples. Environmental Science & Pollution Research; Aug2014, Vol. 21 Issue 16, 9983-9994

Ponds play an important role in urban areas. However, cyanobacterial blooms counteract the societal need for a good water quality and pose serious health risks for citizens and pets. To provide insight into the extent and possible causes of cyanobacterial problems in urban ponds, we conducted a survey on cyanobacterial blooms and studied three ponds in detail. Among 3,500 urban ponds in the urbanized Dutch province of North Brabant, 125 showed cyanobacterial blooms in the period 2009-2012. This covered 79 % of all locations registered for cyanobacterial blooms, despite the fact that urban ponds comprise only 11 % of the area of surface water in North Brabant. Dominant bloom-forming genera in urban ponds were Microcystis, Anabaena and Planktothrix. In the three ponds selected for further study, the microcystin concentration of the water peaked at 77 μg l and in scums at 64,000 μg l, which is considered highly toxic. Microcystin-RR and microcystin-LR were the most prevalent variants in these waters and in scums. Cyanobacterial chlorophyll- a peaked in August with concentrations up to 962 μg l outside of scums. The ponds were highly eutrophic with mean total phosphorus concentrations between 0.16 and 0.44 mg l, and the sediments were rich in potential releasable phosphorus. High fish stocks dominated by carp lead to bioturbation, which also favours blooms. As urban ponds in North Brabant, and likely in other regions, regularly suffer from cyanobacterial blooms and citizens may easily have contact with the water and may ingest cyanobacterial material during recreational activities, particularly swimming, control of health risk is of importance. Monitoring of cyanobacteria and cyanobacterial toxins in urban ponds is a first step to control health risks. Mitigation strategies should focus on external sources of eutrophication and consider the effect of sediment P release and bioturbation by fish.

Health risk of pharmaceuticals in Dutch drinking water

Corine J. Houtman, Jan Kroesbergen, Karin Lekkerkerker-Teunissen, Jan Peter van der Hoek. Human health risk assessment of the mixture of pharmaceuticals in Dutch drinking water and its sources based on frequent monitoring data. Science of The Total Environment. Volume 496, 15 October 2014, Pages 54–62

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The presence of pharmaceuticals in drinking water is a topic of concern. Previous risk assessments indicate that their low concentrations are very unlikely to pose risks to human health, however often conclusions had to be based on small datasets and mixture effects were not included.

The objectives of this study were to a) investigate if pharmaceuticals in surface and polder water penetrate in drinking water, b) assess the lifelong exposure of consumers to pharmaceuticals via drinking water and c) assess the possible individual and mixture health risks associated with this exposure.

To fulfill these aims, a 2-year set of 4-weekly monitoring data of pharmaceuticals was used from three drinking water production plants. The 42 pharmaceuticals that were monitored were selected according to their consumption volume, earlier detection, toxicity and representation of the most relevant therapeutic classes. Lifelong exposures were calculated from concentrations and compared with therapeutic doses. Health risks were assessed by benchmarking concentrations with provisional guideline values. Combined risks of mixtures of pharmaceuticals were estimated using the concept of Concentration Addition.

The lifelong exposure to pharmaceuticals via drinking water was calculated to be extremely low, i.e. a few mg, in total corresponding to < 10% of the dose a patient is administered on one day. The risk of adverse health effects appeared to be negligibly low. Application of Concentration Addition confirmed this for the mixture of pharmaceuticals simultaneously present. The investigated treatment plants appeared to reduce the (already negligible) risk up to 80%. The large available monitoring dataset enabled the performance of a realistic risk assessment. It showed that working with maximum instead of average concentrations may overestimate the risk considerably.

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Perfluorinated alkylated acids (PFAA) in Netherlands groundwater

Eschauzier C, Raat KJ, Stuyfzand PJ, De Voogt P. Perfluorinated alkylated acids in groundwater and drinking water: Identification, origin and mobility. Sci Total Environ. 2013 May 18;458-460C:477-485. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2013.04.066.

1-s2_0-S0048969713005007-fx1 PFAA

Human exposure to perfluorinated alkylated acids (PFAA) occurs primarily via the dietary intake and drinking water can contribute significantly to the overall PFAA intake. Drinking water is produced from surface water and groundwater. Waste water treatment plants have been identified as the main source for PFAA in surface waters and corresponding drinking water. However, even though groundwater is an important source for drinking water production, PFAA sources remain largely uncertain. In this paper, we identified different direct and indirect sources of PFAA to groundwater within the catchment area of a public supply well field (PSWF) in The Netherlands. Direct sources were landfill leachate and water draining from a nearby military base/urban area. Indirect sources were infiltrated rainwater. Maximum concentrations encountered in groundwater within the landfill leachate plume were 1.8μg/L of non branched perfluorooctanoic acid (L-PFOA) and 1.2μg/L of perfluorobutanoic acid (PFBA). Sum concentrations amounted to 4.4μg/L total PFAA. The maximum concentration of ΣPFAA in the groundwater originating from the military camp was around 17ng/L. Maximum concentrations measured in the groundwater halfway the landfill and the PWSF (15years travel distance) were 29 and 160ng/L for L-PFOA and PFBA, respectively. Concentrations in the groundwater pumping wells (travel distance >25years) were much lower: 0.96 and 3.5ng/L for L-PFOA and PFBA, respectively. The chemical signature of these pumping wells corresponded to the signature encountered in other wells sampled which were fed by water that had not been in contact with potential contaminant sources, suggesting a widespread diffuse contamination from atmospheric deposition.

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Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach for derving drinking water target values

M.N. Mons, M.B. Heringa, J. van Genderen, L.M. Puijker, W. Brand, C.J. van Leeuwen, P. Stoks, J.P. van der Hoek, D. van der Kooij. Use of the Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach for deriving target values for drinking water contaminants. Water Research. Volume 47, Issue 4, 15 March 2013, Pages 1666–1678.

Ongoing pollution and improving analytical techniques reveal more and more anthropogenic substances in drinking water sources, and incidentally in treated water as well. In fact, complete absence of any trace pollutant in treated drinking water is an illusion as current analytical techniques are capable of detecting very low concentrations. Most of the substances detected lack toxicity data to derive safe levels and have not yet been regulated. Although the concentrations in treated water usually do not have adverse health effects, their presence is still undesired because of customer perception. This leads to the question how sensitive analytical methods need to become for water quality screening, at what levels water suppliers need to take action and how effective treatment methods need to be designed to remove contaminants sufficiently. Therefore, in the Netherlands a clear and consistent approach called ’Drinking Water Quality for the 21st century (Q21)’ has been developed within the joint research program of the drinking water companies. Target values for anthropogenic drinking water contaminants were derived by using the recently introduced Threshold of Toxicological Concern (TTC) approach. The target values for individual genotoxic and steroid endocrine chemicals were set at 0.01 μg/L. For all other organic chemicals the target values were set at 0.1 μg/L. The target value for the total sum of genotoxic chemicals, the total sum of steroid hormones and the total sum of all other organic compounds were set at 0.01, 0.01 and 1.0 μg/L, respectively. The Dutch Q21 approach is further supplemented by the standstill-principle and effect-directed testing. The approach is helpful in defining the goals and limits of future treatment process designs and of analytical methods to further improve and ensure the quality of drinking water, without going to unnecessary extents.

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Dutch analysis concludes wind energy a “money pit”

Wind energy was found to reduce emissions and fossil fuel use by a maximum of only 1.6%  compared to directly generating energy from fossil fuels. Large wind installations often waste power because the electricity grid cannot always absorb the intermittent supply. This results in more fossil fuel consumption than directly generating power from fossil fuels.

The study concludes:

“wind developments are a money pit with virtually no merit in terms of the intended goal of CO2 emission reduction or fossil fuel saving.”

Click here for the full study.