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Public Health

"Draft Environmental Quality Standards for Priority Substances under the Water Framework Directive" - Erythromycin

Final Opinion


1. marts 2022
Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks (SCHEER)


SCHEER WG on Water Framework Directive
SCHEER members: Marian Scott (Chair), Marco Vighi (Rapporteur), Thomas Backhaus, Teresa Borges, Raquel Duarte Davidson, Peter Hoet, Pim de Voogt
External experts: Andrew Johnson, Jan Linders
Contact:SANTE-C2-SCHEERatec [dot] europa [dot] eu (SANTE-C2-SCHEER[at]ec[dot]europa[dot]eu)
On request from: European Commission
Adopted on: 28 February 2022


For the draft dossier on Environmental Quality Standards on erythromycin, the SCHEER offers the following opinions:

The most sensitive organisms for antibiotics are typically cyanobacteria and here evidence is presented for QS for erythromycin which are in line with expectations so SCHEER can support these. Although a probabilistic approach was possible that would have derived MAC-QSfw,eco of 0.52 μg L-1 and a MAC-QSsw,eco of 0.052 μg L-1, the SCHEER supports utilising the alternative result from the deterministic approach which would yield MAC-QSfw,eco of 1.0 μg L-1 and a MAC-QSsw,eco of 0.1 μg L-1.

The deterministic and probabilistic values do not differ largely (less than a factor 2) and the deterministic derived values lie well within the confidence interval of the probabilistic approach. The deterministic derived AA-QSfw,eco of 0.5 μg L-1 and an AA-QSsw,eco of 0.05 μg L-1 are endorsed by the SCHEER, but the SCHEER considers an application of the probabilistic approach might still have been possible.

The SCHEER requires the calculations of the sediment EQS, to protect benthic organisms, to be reviewed as they currently do not use the appropriate AA-QS values.

The SCHEER support the QSBiota, sec pois, fw in fish of 15 mg kg-1 ww and 4.1 mg kg-1 ww for bivalves, however the decision not to derive such standards for the marine environment needs further justification.

To protect human health, the QSbiota hh food of 120 mg kg-1 and provisional drinking water QSdw, hh of 7 mg L-1 can be supported by the SCHEER.



antibiotics, erythromycin, Water Framework Directive, environmental quality standards

Opinion to be cited as:

SCHEER (Scientific Committee on Health, Environmental and Emerging Risks), Preliminary Opinion on Draft Environmental Quality Standards for Priority Substances under the Water Framework Directive - Erythromycin, 28 February 2022.


11. JANUAR 2022
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