Big data – analysis and integration of chemical and toxicological data

Monitoring the water quality of drinking water is challenging due to the presence of complex mixtures of mostly unknown substances that vary in concentration and composition. Over the past decade, non-target screening (NTS) and bioassays have been widely used to supplement targeted chemical analyses.

NTS provides information on the presence of emerging substances and/or transformation products. Data acquisition, analysis and interpretation are time-consuming and complex. By using bioassays, the toxicity of these complex mixtures can be determined without anything being known about the chemical composition of the water sample. It is not straightforward to translate bioassay responses into effects on human health and environmental effects. Effect-based triggers (EBT) have therefore been developed for several bioassays.

The first aim is of this project is to improve data acquisition in NTS to enhance the detection of unknown substances in water samples. The second goal is to develop EBTs for two additional bioassays as a follow-up to Trigger value data gaps I and II and to investigate the effect of substance conversion on the EBTs in bioassays for DNA damage. Finally, a new software platform is being developed to accelerate data analysis in NTS and to evaluate potential toxicity better. The organisation of workshops allows this software to be used by drinking water companies as well.