The landmark EU Drinking Council Directive 98/83/EC set the standard for the most common substances that can be found in drinking water in the European Union Member States. The current EU Directive established environmental and quality standards (EQS) for water, and set limits for the concentration of 41 substances including pesticides, heavy metals, and biocides (Wikipedia page) in surface water that must be met by 2018. The EU Directive also created ESQ for sediment and biota, which can be used instead of standards for water as required by the Water Framework Directive(WFD). The WFD requires a review of the priority substances list and an assessment of new substances with ESQs every four years.
Although, the deadline set by Directive 2008/105/EC on ESQ for water was January 13, 2011, the Commission is still preparing detailed technical dossiers on the 42 shortlisted substances. The Commission has asked the Scientific Committee on Health and Environmental Risks (SCHER) for opinion on the draft EQS for the 19 new proposed priority substances, certain existing priority substances, and to provide scientific opinion on each substance. So far SCHER has provided and published 22 opinions on the following substances: nickel, naphthalene, lead, dicofol, diclofenac, cybutryne, bifenox, 17β-‐estradiol (E2), aclonifen, anthracene, quinoxyfen, dioxins, hexabromocyclododecane, ibuprofen, ethinylestradiol, dichlorvos, heptachlor, cypermethrin, terbutryn, perfluorooctane, fluoranthene, and 5-‐6 rings polyaromatic hydrocarbons. The proposal for a Directive with the finalized list of proposed priority substances is expected to be presented early in 2012.
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