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Environ Sci Pollut Res Int. 2014 Jan;21(1):77-85. doi: 10.1007/s11356-013-1626-9. Epub 2013 Apr 2.

Development and implementation of surface water quality standards for protection of human health in Korea.

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1
Department of Environmental Science, Konkuk University, 1 Hwayang-dong, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 143-701, South Korea, anyjoo@konkuk.ac.kr.

Abstract

Current water quality standards for the protection of human health in Korea include 17 substances found in rivers and streams. Due to increasing concern over the release of hazardous chemicals into the aquatic environment, there has been a demand for additional water quality standards. Therefore, the Korean Ministry of the Environment plans to gradually increase the number of water quality standards to 30 substances, including 22 substances for protection of human health and 8 substances for protection of aquatic ecosystems by 2015. In this study, new water quality standards for protection of human health were established for 1,4-dioxane, formaldehyde, and hexachlorobenzene. We selected candidate hazardous chemicals, conducted a human health risk assessment to determine priority chemicals, established water quality standards based on technical analyses and comparison with domestic and developed countries' water quality standards, and conducted an expert review. Water quality standards for protection of aquatic ecosystems will be derived in the near future. This study describes how the water quality standards for protection of human health were developed and implemented. Current status, recent expansion, and future plans for water quality standards in Korea are also covered.

PMID:
23546853
DOI:
10.1007/s11356-013-1626-9
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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