Biomarkers and integrated environmental risk assessment: Are there more questions than answers?
Article first published online: 5 NOV 2009
Copyright © 2006 SETAC
Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management
Volume 2, Issue 4, pages 312–329, October 2006
How to Cite
Hagger, J. A., Jones, M. B., Leonard, D. P., Owen, R. and Galloway, T. S. (2006), Biomarkers and integrated environmental risk assessment: Are there more questions than answers?. Integr Environ Assess Manag, 2: 312–329. doi: 10.1002/ieam.5630020403
- Issue published online: 5 NOV 2009
- Article first published online: 5 NOV 2009
- Manuscript Accepted: 10 JAN 2006
- Manuscript Received: 16 AUG 2005
- Environmental risk assessment;
- Water Framework Directive
The introduction of the European Commission's Water Framework Directive (WFD; 2000/60/EC) established a new era in environmental risk assessment. In addition to incorporating the compliance of chemical quality standards, the key objective of the WFD is the general protection of the aquatic environment in its entirety. This new approach emphasizes the need for an integrated environmental risk assessment and offers the potential for the incorporation of biological effects measures, including the use of biomarkers in this process. Biomarkers have been suggested as practical tools for environmental management for a number of decades, but their inclusion has not been universally accepted because of a number of unanswered questions regarding sensitivity, practicality, and reproducibility. With this in mind, this paper addresses these potential questions and shows how, by taking a weight-of-evidence approach, biomarkers may be successfully incorporated within environmental risk assessment frameworks such as the WFD.