Werner Brack

Werner Brack
Helmholtz-Zentrum für Umweltforschung | UFZ

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315
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Introduction
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Publications

Publications (315)
Article
Full-text available
Abstract The definition of priority substances (PS) according to the Water Framework Directive (WFD) helped to remove many of these chemicals from the market and to reduce their concentrations in the European water bodies. However, it could not prevent that many of these chemicals have been replaced by others with similar risks. Today, monitoring o...
Article
Pesticides and biocides (PaB) are ubiquitously present in aquatic ecosystems due to their wide-spread application and have been detected in rivers at concentrations that may cause distress to aquatic life. Many of these compounds accumulate in sediments acting as long-term source for aquatic ecosystems. However, data on sediment contamination with...
Article
Full-text available
The chemical pollution crisis severely threatens human and environmental health globally. To tackle this challenge the establishment of an overarching international science–policy body has recently been suggested. We strongly support this initiative based on the awareness that humanity has already likely left the safe operating space within planeta...
Article
Within the Human Biomonitoring for Europe initiative (HBM4EU), a study to determine new biomarkers of exposure to pesticides and to assess exposure patterns was conducted. Human urine samples (N=2,088) were collected from five European regions in two different seasons. The objective of the study was to identify pesticides and their metabolites in c...
Article
Wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) are the primary source of micropollutants in aquatic ecosystems. Many micropollutants tend to bind to sediments and persist until remobilizion by bioturbation or flood events. Advanced effluent treatment by ozonation has been proven to eliminate most micropollutants. The present study characterizes sediments' tox...
Preprint
Background: The NORMAN Association (https://www.norman-network.com/) initiated the NORMAN Suspect List Exchange (NORMAN-SLE; https://www.norman-network.com/nds/SLE/) in 2015, following the NORMAN collaborative trial on non-target screening of environmental water samples by mass spectrometry. Since then, this exchange of information on chemicals tha...
Article
Micropollutants (MPs) in wastewater pose a growing concern for their potential adverse effects on the receiving aquatic environment, and some countries have started requiring that wastewater treatment plants remove them to a certain extent. Broad spectrum advanced treatment processes, such as ozonation, activated carbon or their combination, are ex...
Article
Full-text available
Anthropogenic chemicals in freshwater environments contribute majorly to ecosystem degradation and biodiversity decline. In particular, anthropogenic organic micropollutants (AOM), a diverse group of compounds including pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and industrial chemicals, can significantly impact freshwater organisms. AOM were found to impact the...
Article
Full-text available
In this study, 56 effluent samples from 52 European wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) were investigated for the occurrence of 499 emerging chemicals (ECs) and their associated potential risks to the environment. The two main objectives were (i) to extend our knowledge on chemicals occurring in treated wastewater, and (ii) to identify and prioriti...
Article
Full-text available
On their way from inland to the ocean, flowing water bodies, their constituents and their biotic communities are exposed to complex transport and transformation processes. However, detailed process knowledge as revealed by Lagrangian measurements adjusted to travel time is rare in large rivers, in particular at hydrological extremes. To fill this g...
Article
Mountain lakes have long been perceived as pristine environments. However, atmospheric deposition of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) have been shown to expose these sensitive ecosystems to chemical pollution. Little is known on how this pollution impacts aquatic ecosystems at high altitudes. We combined passive sampling with liquid and gas chr...
Article
Bioassays have been used to complement chemical characterization of aquatic mutagenicity, but the tests are usually done only with water liquid phase. Particle‐bound mutagens are usually ignored, although they can be ingested by filtering organisms. Our objective was to evaluate the mutagenicity of organic extracts of the liquid phase (LP) and the...
Article
Full-text available
Mass spectral library annotation of liquid chromatography-high resolution tandem mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS/MS) data is a reliable approach for fast identification of organic contaminants and toxicants in complex environmental and biological matrices. While determining the exposure of humans or mammals, it is indispensable to include phase I and ph...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The pilot study “Kleingewässermonitoring” was successfully implemented as a two-year monitoring program on residues of plant protection products (PPPs) in small streams. The chemical pollution and biological status of small streams in the agricultural landscape was investigated in-depth between April and July for more than 100 stream sections in 13...
Article
Full-text available
Background A large number of chemicals are constantly introduced to surface water from anthropogenic and natural sources. So far, unlike anthropogenic pollutants, naturally occurring compounds are not included in environmental monitoring programs due to limited knowledge on their occurrence and effects in the environment. Since previous studies sug...
Article
Full-text available
Background The European Water Framework Directive (WFD) has been implemented to achieve a good ecological status in European water bodies requiring macrophyte community assessment as one of the biological quality elements (BQEs). While in several lakes in Schleswig-Holstein (Germany) different BQEs improved within recent years, no recovery of macro...
Article
Full-text available
Background Pesticides are washed from agricultural fields into adjacent streams, where even short-term exposure causes long-term ecological damage. Detecting pesticide pollution in streams thus requires the expensive monitoring of peak concentrations during run-off events. Alternatively, exposure and ecological effects can be assessed using the SPE...
Article
Wastewater treatment plant effluents and releases from rainwater overflow basins can contribute to the input of genotoxic micropollutants in aquatic ecosystems. Predominantly lipophilic genotoxic compounds tend to sorb to particulate matter, making sediment a source and a sink of pollution. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the genot...
Article
Organisms are exposed to ever changing complex mixtures of chemicals over the course of their lifetime. The need to more comprehensively describe this exposure and relate it to adverse health effects has led to formulation of the exposome concept in human toxicology. Whether this concept has utility in the context of environmental hazard and risk a...
Article
The assessment of the exposure of aquatic wildlife to complex environmental mixtures of chemicals originating from both point and diffuse sources and evaluating the potential impact thereof constitutes a significant step towards mitigating toxic pressure and the improvement of ecological status. In the current proof-of-concept study, we demonstrate...
Article
While it is well recognized that the frequency and intensity of flood events are increasing worldwide, the environmental, economic, and societal consequences of remobilization and distribution of pollutants during flood events are not widely recognized. Loss of life, damage to infrastructure, and monetary cleanup costs associated with floods are im...
Article
Toxic plant secondary metabolites, so-called phytotoxins, occur widely in plant species. Many of these phytotoxins have similar mobility, persistence, and toxicity properties in the environment as anthropogenic micropollutants, which increasingly contaminate surface waters. Although recent case studies have shown the aquatic relevance of phytotoxin...
Article
Recently, the potent antiandrogen 4‐methyl‐7‐diethylaminocoumarin (C47), and its potential transformation products 4‐methyl‐7‐ethylaminocoumarin (C47T1) and 4‐methyl‐7‐aminocoumarin (C47T2) were identified as novel environmental contaminants. We assessed for the first time the sources, distribution and fate of these compounds in aquatic systems usi...
Article
There is a current need to monitor human exposureto a large number of pesticides and other chemicals of emergingconcern (CECs). This requires screening analysis with highconfidence for these compounds and their metabolites in complexmatrices, which is hampered by the fact that no reference standardsare available for most metabolites. We address thi...
Article
Full-text available
Despite elaborate regulation of agricultural pesticides, their occurrence in non-target areas has been linked to adverse ecological effects on insects in several field investigations. Their quantitative role in contributing to the biodiversity crisis is, however, still not known. In a large-scale study across 101 sites of small lowland streams in C...
Article
Anthropogenic micropollutants alter chemical and ecological conditions of freshwater ecosystems and impact aquatic species that live along the pollution gradient of a river. Species sensitivity to micropollutants depends on the site-specific exposure; however, it remains unclear to what degree this sensitivity relates to the species’ genetic struct...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Pesticides are washed from agricultural fields into adjacent streams where even short-term exposure causes long-term ecological damage. Detecting pesticide pollution in streams thus requires the expensive monitoring of peak concentrations during run-off events. Alternatively, exposure and ecological effects can be assessed using the SPEA...
Article
Accidental spills or illegal discharges of pesticides in aquatic ecosystems can lead to exposure levels that strongly exceed authorized pesticide concentrations, causing major impacts on aquatic ecosystems. Such short-term events often remain undetected in regular monitoring programs with infrequent sampling. In early spring 2015, we identified a c...
Article
Full-text available
Meeting ecological and water quality standards in lotic ecosystems is often failed due to multiple stressors. However, disentangling stressor effects and identifying relevant stressor-effect-relationships in complex environmental settings remain major challenges. By combining state-of-the-art methods from ecotoxicology and aquatic ecosystem analysi...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: A large number of chemicals are constantly introduced to surface water from anthropogenic and natural sources. So far, unlike anthropogenic pollutants, naturally occurring compounds are not included in environmental monitoring programs due to limited knowledge on their occurrence and effects in the environment. Since first studies sugge...
Article
Bioanalytical equivalents (BEQs) of mixtures and environmental samples are widely used to reflect the potential threat of pollutants in the environment and can be obtained by bioassays or using chemical analysis combined with relative potencies (REPs). In this study, the relationships between bioassay-detected BEQs (Bio-BEQs) and chemically analyze...
Article
Full-text available
Background Substantial efforts have been made to monitor potentially hazardous anthropogenic contaminants in surface waters while for plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) almost no data on occurrence in the water cycle are available. These metabolites enter river waters through various pathways such as leaching, surface run-off and rain sewers or inp...
Article
Full-text available
Background Within the last decades, there has been increasing research on the occurrence of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems due to their potential adverse effects on freshwater organisms and risk to human health. However, information on CECs in freshwater environments in sub-Saharan countries is very limited. Here, we inv...
Article
Nontargeted mass spectrometry (MS) is widely used in life sciences and environmental chemistry to investigate large sets of samples. A major problem for larger-scale MS studies is data gaps or missing values in aligned data sets. The main causes for these data gaps are the absence of the compound from the sample, issues related to chromatography or...
Article
Full-text available
The Partnership for Chemicals Risk Assessment (PARC) is currently under development as a joint research and innovation programme to strengthen the scientific basis for chemical risk assessment in the EU. The plan is to bring chemical risk assessors and managers together with scientists to accelerate method development and the production of necessar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Surface waters may contain a large number of chemicals detectable as signals in liquid chromatography-high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS) including a large fraction of unknown chemicals often with high peak intensity. In addition to synthetic chemicals these signals may represent also natural compounds released from plants, anim...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: In surface waters, using liquid chromatography coupled to high resolution mass spectrometry (LC-HRMS), typically large numbers of chemical signals often with high peak intensity remain unidentified. These chemical signals may represent natural compounds released from plants, animals and microorganisms, which may contribute to the cumula...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background Within the last decades, there has been increasing research on the occurrence of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems due to their potential adverse effects on freshwater organisms and risk to human health. However, information on CECs in freshwater environments in sub-Saharan countries is very limited. Here, we inv...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Within the last decades, there has been increasing research on the occurrence of chemicals of emerging concern (CECs) in aquatic ecosystems due to their potential adverse effects on freshwater organisms and risk to human health. However, information on CECs in freshwater environments in sub-Saharan countries is very limited. Here, we in...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background:Substantial efforts have been made to monitor potentially hazardous anthropogenic contaminants in surface waters while for plant secondary metabolites(PSMs) almost no data on occurrence in the water cycle are available.These metabolitesenter river waters through various pathways such as leaching, surface run-off and rain sewers or input...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Substantial efforts have been made to monitor potentially hazardous anthropogenic contaminants in surface waters while for plant secondary metabolites (PSMs) almost no data on occurrence in the water cycle are available. These metabolites enter river waters through various pathways such as leaching, surface run-off and rain sewers or in...
Article
Sea urchin embryo assay was used to assess general toxicity at four wastewater treatment plant effluents of Biscay (Gorliz, Mungia, Gernika and Galindo) and, within the tested range, all the extracts showed embryo growth inhibition and skeleton malformation activities with EC50 values, in relative enrichment factor units, between 1.1-16.8 and 1.1-...
Article
Rain events may impact the chemical pollution burden in rivers. Forty-four small streams in Germany were profiled during several rain events for the presence of 395 chemicals and five types of mixture effects in in-vitro bioassays (cytotoxicity, activation of the estrogen, aryl hydrocarbon and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors and oxidati...
Article
***** Here the link to download the paper for 50 days for free: https://authors.elsevier.com/a/1b3at4wOUnrYJe ****** Most in vitro reporter gene assays used to assess estrogenic contamination are based on human estrogen receptor α (hERα) activation. However, fish bioassays can have distinct response to estrogenic chemicals and mixtures, questionin...
Article
Full-text available
Non-targeted mass spectrometry (MS) has become an important method over recent years in the fields of metabolomics and environmental research. While more and more algorithms and workflows become available to process a large number of non-targeted data sets, there still exist few manually evaluated universal test data sets for refining and evaluatin...
Article
Full-text available
Schistosomiasis is a severe neglected tropical disease caused by trematodes and transmitted by freshwater snails. Snails are known to be highly tolerant to agricultural pesticides. However, little attention has been paid to the ecological consequences of pesticide pollution in areas endemic for schistosomiasis, where people live in close contact wi...
Article
Full-text available
An amendment to this paper has been published and can be accessed via a link at the top of the paper.
Article
The unintended release of chemicals to the environment has led to global concern on water quality prompting widespread research on the occurrence of these compounds in water. While increasing information on organic micropollutants (OMPs) in European water resources is available, there is still limited information on the occurrence of OMPs in Africa...
Article
The pollution of aquatic ecosystems with complex and largely unknown mixtures of organic micropollutants is not sufficiently addressed with current monitoring strategies based on target screening methods. In this study, we implemented an open-source workflow based on non-target screening to unravel longitudinal pollution patterns of organic micropo...
Article
Full-text available
Knowledge of exposure to a wide range of chemicals, and the spatio-temporal variability thereof, is urgently needed in the context of protecting and restoring aquatic ecosystems. This paper discusses a computational material flow analysis to predict the occurrence of thousands of man-made organic chemicals on a European scale, based on a novel temp...
Article
Full-text available
Schistosomiasis is a severe neglected tropical disease caused by trematodes and transmitted by freshwater snails. Snails are known to be highly tolerant to agricultural pesticides. However, little attention has been paid to the ecological consequences of pesticide pollution in areas endemic for schistosomiasis, where people live in close contact wi...
Article
Full-text available
The number of anthropogenic chemicals, manufactured, by-products, metabolites and abiotically formed transformation products, counts to hundreds of thousands, at present. Thus, humans and wildlife are exposed to complex mixtures, never one chemical at a time and rarely with only one dominating effect. Hence there is an urgent need to develop strate...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of the European Water Framework Directive is to ensure good ecological status for all European surface waters. However, although current monitoring strategies aim to identify the presence and magnitude of ecological impacts, they provide little information on the causes of an ecosystem impairment. In fact, approaches to establish causal lin...
Article
While the targeted analysis of mercapturic acid (MA) metabolites in human urine is used to assess exposure to selected chemicals, this compound class has only rarely been addressed in non-target screening utilizing diagnostic neutral loss liquid chromatography tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS). Additionally, this type of analysis is severely affe...
Article
Full-text available
Effect‐based monitoring is increasingly applied to detect and – in conjunction with chemical analysis ‐ to identify endocrine disrupting compounds (EDCs) in the environment. While this approach of effect‐directed analysis has been successfully demonstrated for estrogenicity and androgenicity, data on progestogens and glucocorticoids driving endocri...