Send to

Choose Destination
Mar Pollut Bull. 2008 Jun;56(6):1111-8. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2008.03.040. Epub 2008 May 12.

Application of biomarkers for improving risk assessments of chemicals under the Water Framework Directive: a case study.

Author information

School of Biological Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth, Devon PL4 8AA, UK.


To answer the requirement of the European Commission's Water Framework Directive (WFD) for biological-effects endpoints to classify the ecological health of aquatic ecosystems, we propose the biomarker response index (BRI). The BRI, based on a suite of biomarkers at different levels of biological response at the individual level, provides an integrated relative measure of the general health status of coastal invertebrates. Using the BRI, the health of mussels (Mytilus edulis) from 10 estuaries classified by the Environment Agency of England and Wales under the WFD was compared. Eight sites were healthier than predicted and two showed a similar health status to that of the predicted point-source pollution risk classification. Results indicate that the BRI offers a potential measure of organism health that can be used in monitoring under the WFD as an additional aid to reduce uncertainty in defining risk classification and to provide better evidence of existing impact.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center