The Steering Group (SG) of CYANOCOST has submitted comments to the European Commission about the inclusion of MC-LR in the proposed revision of the Drinking Water Directive (DWD). Based on the facts presented in this response the SG proposes the inclusion of all microcystins in the Drinking Water Guideline in the following manner: the reference to the parameter “microcystin-LR” in the proposed Drinking Water Directive should be replaced by “sum of all detected microcystin variants”. The parametric value should stay at 1.0 µg/l.
You can read the CYANOCOST comments in the EC webpage (download the file with feedback).
The European Commission has issued a proposal for a Directive on the Quality of Water Intended for Human Consumption. The proposal is a recast of Directive 98/83/EC, which was amended in 2003, 2009 and 2015.
Microcystin-LR is included in the proposal as a “Chemical Parameter”, with a parametric value of 1μg/L, along with other organic compounds that are added in the list (Bisphenol A, Haloacetic acids, Nonylphenol, PFAS). Performance criteria for determination of MC-LR are specified as 30% uncertainty at the parametric value, while methods should comply to the requirements of ISO 17025.
Inclusion of MC-LR in the proposed Directive is a result of increased occurrence of microcystins in European waters and beyond, as well as of increased awareness of the health risks and hazards associated with toxic cyanobacteria. CYANOCOST has significant contributions in this field, including two books on chemical analysis of cyanotoxins and molecular detection of toxigenic cyanobacteria and many joint parers on cyanotoxin research. Since 2012, CYANOCOST has also contributed in raising awareness of cyanotoxins in Europe; in this sense, the proposed Directive is rewarding of the vast amount of voluntarily work done within the Network and highlights the important societal impact of COST Actions.
The proposed Directive is under public consultation till 2 April 2018. You can download the related documents and submit your feedback here.