Pollution in aquatic environments

Ineris does multidisciplinary work on the issue of substances in the environment, including the contamination of aquatic environments under the EU Water Framework Directive.

Monitoring water and waste

Ineris contributes to improving the characterization of pollution in waste and in aquatic environments, evaluating adherence to standards and threshold values, identifying emerging substances and developing innovative analytical methods.
The Institute offers its work to those working in water quality monitoring via Aquaref, the national reference laboratory for monitoring aquatic environments.

Predicting ecotoxicity of substances

The Institute is developing a group of biomarkers for the purpose of environmental biosurveillance in fish. This work includes participation in the mixed research unit SEBIO (Environmental Stresses and Biosurveillance of Aquatic Environments) along with the University of Reims Champagne Ardenne and the University of Le Havre. The Institute is especially involved in characterizing potential endocrine disruption by chemical substances found in waste or surface water.

Establishing Environmental Reference Value

An Environmental Reference Value (VGE) is the level of concentration of a pollutant in water, sediment, or the biota, that must not be exceeded in order to protect aquatic ecosystems and human health.
In France, VGEs are set by Ineris, in partnership with Ifremer for marine environments. As of today, more than 100 values are available for consultation on the Institute’s chemical substances portal. The Institute also works to improve the methodology for setting reference values.

Prioritizing substances

In 2011, Ineris initiated a methodology for prioritizing substances in aquatic environments, which received the approval of the Prioritization Experts Committee (CEP, a national body run by the French Biodiversity Agency).
By integrating new data acquired over time, this dynamic methodology provides [missing] data for a range of substances. It is mainly used to identify future substances of interest for aquatic environments.

Ongoing partnerships

•    Aquaref, the national reference laboratory for monitoring aquatic environments – BRGM / Ifremer / Ineris / Irstea / LNE
•    Chemical Risk Analysis Unit (ARC) - Ifremer / Ineris
•    MRU Environmental Stresses and Biosurveillance of Aquatic Environments (SEBIO) - University of Reims-Champagne-Ardennes, University of Le Havre, Ineris
•    FRB: Ineris is a founder member of the Foundation for Biodiversity Research