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The 1997 RIVM scanning and scouting programme; selection of subjects and lay out of the programme

Het RIVM scannings- en scoutingsprogramma 1997 ; selectie van onderwerpen en opzet van het programma


A demonstration project is defined here in which the potentials of scanning and scouting as an alternative for monitoring environmental quality will be examined. Scanning is defined here as a one-off measurement activity which aims to describe nationwide environmental quality for a given compound. In comparison to monitoring, scanning is limited in time. Scouting is a one-off investigation to determine whether a compound poses an environmental problem or not. In comparison to monitoring, scouting is limited in time and space. An initial list of 60 subjects was made from an inventory of earlier compiled potentially relevant topics. Further selection was based on a set of criteria, including: a) relevancy to the the Dutch annual environmental report, b) chain approach, c) Dutch policy priorities and d) multicompartimental approach. Referring to a) the subject to be investigated is considered to be a human-health risk, an ecosysteme risk ; or the compound can be considered a social risk. For b), current emissions are those causing exceedance of environmental quality standards or targets. The selection process, supported by experts judgement, resulted in four themes which will be worked out in 1997. These are: pesticides, phthalates, boron and trichloroethene (tri). To fill the present lack of an overview of the occurrence of pesticides in the various environmental compartiments, a multi-compartimental measurement programme will be carried out on carbendazim, a fungicide and mecoporop-p, a herbicide to show the distribution of these compounds in the Netherlands environment. Phthalates, known for widespread occurrence in the environment, are used on a large scale. However, the scarce knowledge on concentrations in environmental compartiments hampers a risk assessment. The phthalates programme will try to fill the gaps in knowledge by including the measurement of the five most used phthalates in a number of environmental compartiments and biota. There is little known about the occurrence of boron in the environment. However, boron does receive a lot of attention in standard-setting. The measurement programme will consider groundwater, drinking water and precipitation. Research has shown that diffuse soil loads of trichloroethene could give rise to exceedance of soil quality standards. Atmospheric deposition is probably the main cause. A limited measurement programme in soil and upper groundwater will therefore be carried out.

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