EU standardised methods
The chemical monitoring and measurement of contaminants in the marine environment depends on the availability of protocols for carrying out sampling, sample extraction, and instrumental analysis. Quality control and the testing of proficiency are integral parts of the analytical process.
Guidance documents have been developed within the Water Framework Directive (WFD) implementation strategy to support chemical monitoring:
Standardised methods for the analysis of most WFD priority substances are available on the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) website:
Commission Directive [2009/90/EC] provides technical specifications that set data quality requirements for the chemical analysis and monitoring of water status. The availability of proficiency-testing schemes, such as Quasimeme and those available through the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), is crucial for ensuring the quality of analytical data.
In addition to the chemical analysis of contaminants, the quantification of their biological effects provides information on the risk they pose to the marine environment.
For other substances, such as WFD river-basin-specific substances or marine-specific contaminants, analytical procedures are available through the Regional Sea Conventions and the scientific literature.
Regional Seas Conventions standardised methods
Guidance is also provided by RSC and other international bodies: