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Public Health
Expert opinion

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

Final Opinion


SCHEER WG on Water Framework Directive
SCHEER members: Marian Scott (Chair), Marco Vighi (Rapporteur), Thomas Backhaus, Teresa Borges, Peter Hoet, Pim de Voogt, Rodica Mariana Ion
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: 6 May 2022

For the draft dossier on Environmental Quality Standards (QS) for “Azithromycin” the SCHEER offers the following opinion:

The most sensitive organisms for antibiotics are typically cyanobacteria and here evidence is presented to generate QS for azithromycin based on these organisms. The SCHEER agrees that there was not enough data to apply a probabilistic approach to derive acute and chronic toxicity related QS. The SCHEER can support the MAC-EQSfw,eco 0.18, MAC-EQSsw,eco 0.018, AA-EQSfw,eco 0.019 and AA-EQSsw,eco 0.0019 μg L-1 and benthic community QS of 17 and 1.7 μg kg-1 but with reservations. The SCHEER asks that the report that underpins the deterministic approach is made available to the SC and recommends that data emanating from personal communications are not relied upon in future.

The SCHEER requests that an attempt to provide QS to protect marine organisms from secondary poisoning be offered. The SCHEER requests further information be provided to support the proposal of not providing human health safety consumption limits.


antibiotics, azithromycin, 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 - Azithromycin, 6 May 2022.


11 JANUARY 2022