Implemented a methodology to evaluate chemical contamination in aquatic ecosystems of natural areas

6 May 2022

A scientific team led by the researcher Sílvia Lacorte (and her team from the Chemometrics group) from the Institute of Environmental Assessment and Water Research (IDAEA – CSIC), the Spanish Society of Ornithology SEO/BirdLife, and the Hunting Resources Research Institute (IREC – CSIC, UCLM, JCCM), have developed a methodological procedure to determine simultaneously a large number of organic micropollutants from different chemical families. The method has been applied to analyse water samples collected in 21 Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) representing different habitats in Spain.

The methodology detected 59 different types of contaminants and will allow assessing the potential impact of this threat on the fauna conservation in the aquatic ecosystems of the rest of the IBA.

The results show that 83% of the chemical substances analysed (a total of 59) have been detected in the Spanish IBA, showing that even the natural spaces of greatest ecological value, where greater integrity would be expected, suffer the impact of chemical contamination.

Among the micropollutants studied, caffeine, drugs (such as ibuprofen or paracetamol), and organophosphate esters are the most ubiquitous. Caffeine, which was detected in 79% of the samples, is an indicator of human intrusion into natural spaces.

Full R+D CSIC article (ENG)
Artículo completo en R+D CSIC (ESP)
Article complet en R+D CSIC (CAT)


Reference article:
Dulsat-Masvidal, M., Ciudad, C., Infante, O., Mateo, R. Lacorte S. 2022. Pilot monitoring scheme of water pollutants in Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas. Ecotoxicology and Environmental Safety 237, 113562
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