Relevant Micropollutants

Which micropollutants are an environmental risk for water bodies and should therefore be scrutinised more closely? This is evaluated by the Committee for the identification of relevant micropollutants made up of experts from authorities, industry, academia, environmental and water associations. This page lists the micropollutants that have been evaluated as relevant.

Table of Contents

The micropollutant-related information on the relevant micropollutants is compiled in brief dossiers by the Micropollutants Centre in collaboration with UBA experts. The dossier is divided into:

The purpose of the brief dossier is to compile the information on the respective micropollutant that is needed for the committee’s decision and that expresses the relevance in water bodies. To this end, a procedure for the assessment of micropollutants was developed in the multi-stakeholder dialogue "Federal Strategy on Trace Substances". The relevance assessment is focused on Germany. The assessment is based on the current state of knowledge and is linked to the panel’s decision date. In the pilot phase of the Stakeholder Dialogue, seven substances have already been assessed as relevant and the substance information published in the form of checklists.


Relevant Micropollutants

Industrial chemicals

Human pharmaceuticals

Pesticides, veterinary pharmaceuticals and/or biocides


What does relevance classification mean?

Currently there are misunderstandings about what the "relevance" of a micropollutant means. We would like to clear this up! The term "relevance" is used linguistically in very different contexts. For relevant micropollutants, measures should be introduced to reduce inputs into water bodies. The classification as relevant should serve to increase the acceptance of measures to reduce this "relevant micropollutant". These can be the feedback into the European approval and authorisation procedures or the Water Framework Directive, the establishment of "round tables", information campaigns or also the improvement of wastewater treatment.


What is the difference between relevant micropollutants and indicator substances of advanced wastewater?

Relevant micropollutants must be distinguished from indicator substances of advanced wastewater treatment. Such indicator substances are also mentioned in the draft of the European Urban Wastewater Treatment Directive. They indicate the functionality of wastewater treatment processes. It is clear that not all "relevant trace substances" can be eliminated in wastewater. It is precisely this poor elimination capacity that can also be taken into account in the classification as a relevant micropollutant. Examples include trifluoroacetic acid or valsartanic acid.

Printer-friendly version
 micropollutants  water protection