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Clara M.,Umweltbundesamt GmbH | Windhofer G.,Umweltbundesamt GmbH | Weilgony P.,Federal Ministry of Agriculture | Gans O.,Umweltbundesamt GmbH | And 3 more authors.
Chemosphere | Year: 2012

The European Union has defined environmental quality standards (EQSs) for surface waters for priority substances and several other pollutants. Furthermore national EQSs for several chemicals are valid in Austria. The study investigated the occurrence of these compounds in municipal wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) effluents. In a first screening of 15. WWTPs relevant substances were identified, which subsequently were monitored in 9. WWTPs over 1. year (every 2. months). Out of 77 substances or groups of substances (including more than 90 substances) 13 were identified as potentially relevant in respect to water pollution and subjected to the monitoring, whereas most other compounds were detected in concentrations far below the respective EQS for surface waters and therefore not further considered. The preselected 13 compounds for monitoring were cadmium (Cd), nickel (Ni), copper (Cu), selenium (Se), zinc (Zn), diuron, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), di(ethyl-hydroxyl)phthalate (DEHP), tributyltin compounds (TBT), nonylphenoles (NP), adsorbable organic halogens (AOX) and the complexing agents ethylenediaminetetraacetic acid (EDTA) as well as nitrilotriacetic acid (NTA). In the effluents of WWTPs the concentrations of the priority substances Cd, NP, TBT and diuron frequently exceeded the respective EQS, whereas the concentrations for DEHP and Ni were below the respective EQS. The effluent concentrations for AOX, EDTA, NTA, Cu, Se and Zn frequently are in the range or above the Austrian EQS for surface waters. Besides diuron and EDTA all compounds are removed at least partially during wastewater treatment and for most substances the removal via the excess sludge is the major removal pathway. For the 13 compounds which were monitored in WWTP effluents population equivalent specific discharges were calculated. Since for many compounds no or only few information is available, these population equivalent specific discharges can be used to assess emissions from municipal WWTPs to surface waters as well as to make a first assessment of the impact of a discharge on surface waters chemical status. Comparing discharges and river pollution on a load basis, the influence of diffuse sources becomes obvious and therefore should also be taken into consideration in river management. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd.

Wagner F.,Federal Ministry of Agriculture
Handbook of Environmental Chemistry | Year: 2015

The EU Water Framework Directive demands the good ecological status in all surface waters within the time frame 2015-2027. The status is monitored by the member states using national sampling and assessment methods designed after the requirements of the WFD and adjusted in an international intercalibration process. In the implementation process, still gaps and uncertainties exist. For solving the open issues, more data and research is necessary; often countries could use approaches developed by other EU member states. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Rauchbuchl A.,Federal Ministry of Agriculture
Handbook of Environmental Chemistry | Year: 2015

Since its publication in the year 2000, the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD) became the most important legal act for water protection not only within the European Union but also in the Danube River Basin. In its strategy against water pollution, the WFD identifies priority substances (PS). PS are hazardous chemical compounds forming a special threat to the quality of surface waters. The goal is to reduce concentrations of all PS at least below substance-specific environmental quality standards (EQS). EQS are concentration limit values derived on the basis of ecotoxicological substance data and additional information. In the Danube River Basin, the level of contamination of the Danube and its tributaries by PS was investigated within the monitoring activities of the International Commission for the Protection of the Danube River Basin (ICPDR). Especially the results of ICPDR's research expeditions in 2001 and 2007, the Joint Danube Surveys, revealed the exposure situation for PS in different aquatic matrices. For the subgroup of organic PS, widespread pollution problems with partial exceedance of the respective water EQS were found for nonylphenol, a decomposition product of surfactants, the plasticizer di(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate, and tributyltin compounds, formerly used in antifouling paints for ships. The mostly banned pesticide atrazine could also be found in many water samples. For all other PS, only local problems were identified or they have not been detected at all. The results for suspended particulate matter, sediment, and biota support the findings above. © 2015 Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Mayer M.,Medical University of Vienna | Oberhuber C.,Medical University of Vienna | Loncaric I.,Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety | Heissenberger B.,Austrian Agency for Health and Food Safety | And 3 more authors.
European Journal of Plant Pathology | Year: 2011

Fireblight infection of apple and pear trees is a bacterial disease of serious economic concern. In this study, apple fruits (cultivar "Elstar", "Topaz") from healthy trees and trees naturally infected by the fireblight-causing bacterium Erwinia amylovora, as well as leaves from infected seedlings (cultivar "Golden Delicious"), were analysed for their Mal d 1 allergen concentrations. In addition, trees were treated with the two Aureobasidium pullulans biocontrol strains CF10 and CF40, active ingredients of Blossom Protect FB. Mal d 1, an 18 kDa intracellular protein is the major apple allergen in Northern and Central Europe and is a member of the family 10 of pathogenesis-related proteins, which is upregulated upon stress and pathogen attack. In young symptomless leaves from infected seedlings Mal d 1.01 transcript levels were significantly increased when compared to controls from healthy plantlets. Quantitative Mal d 1 transcript expression in field grown apple fruits did not show significant differences between samples from infected trees and controls. However, Mal d 1 protein content in apple fruits increased in fruits from infected trees. In fruits from trees with fireblight but treated with A. pullulans, Mal d 1 transcript and protein levels were reduced. These data show that an increase of Mal d 1-related allergenicity in fruits may result from fireblight infection. Thus, successful strategies against fireblight are needed to protect the orchards and simultaneously control the allergen content in fruits. © 2011 KNPV.

Viviroli D.,University of Bern | Archer D.R.,JBA Consulting | Archer D.R.,Newcastle University | Buytaert W.,Imperial College London | And 13 more authors.
Hydrology and Earth System Sciences | Year: 2011

Mountains are essential sources of freshwater for our world, but their role in global water resources could well be significantly altered by climate change. How well do we understand these potential changes today, and what are implications for water resources management, climate change adaptation, and evolving water policy? To answer above questions, we have examined 11 case study regions with the goal of providing a global overview, identifying research gaps and formulating recommendations for research, management and policy. After setting the scene regarding water stress, water management capacity and scientific capacity in our case study regions, we examine the state of knowledge in water resources from a highland-lowland viewpoint, focusing on mountain areas on the one hand and the adjacent lowland areas on the other hand. Based on this review, research priorities are identified, including precipitation, snow water equivalent, soil parameters, evapotranspiration and sublimation, groundwater as well as enhanced warming and feedback mechanisms. In addition, the importance of environmental monitoring at high altitudes is highlighted. We then make recommendations how advancements in the management of mountain water resources under climate change could be achieved in the fields of research, water resources management and policy as well as through better interaction between these fields. We conclude that effective management of mountain water resources urgently requires more detailed regional studies and more reliable scenario projections, and that research on mountain water resources must become more integrative by linking relevant disciplines. In addition, the knowledge exchange between managers and researchers must be improved and oriented towards long-term continuous interaction. © Author(s) 2011.

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