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Review article2024Peer reviewedOpen access

Effect-based methods in cultured cells-Valuable tools for detection of chemical hazards in drinking water

Lundqvist, Johan; Oskarsson, Agneta


Chemical contamination of drinking water is of great concern for public health. Chemical analyses are used for monitoring of selected chemicals, however, no information on unknown chemicals or potential toxicity of the mixture of chemicals in a water sample is obtained. Effect-based methods in cells are new high throughput tools, to evaluate the hazard of the whole mixture of chemicals present in drinking water. These methods can be used together with chemical analysis for assessment of the chemical safety of drinking water. This article will review the principle of effect-based methods in cells and how they compare to traditionally used chemical analysis and effect-based methods in whole organisms. Further, this article will give examples from the literature, highlighting how cellular effect-based methods can be used in different practical applications to improve drinking water safety; for example, for monitoring of drinking water quality and evaluation of treatment efficiency in drinking water processing. Finally, this article will review the current regulatory and water sector acceptance of these methods and discuss future expectations on the role of effect-based methods for improved drinking water safety. This article is categorized under: Engineering Water > Water, Health, and Sanitation Science of Water > Water Quality


chemical hazards; drinking water safety; effect-based methods

Published in

WIREs Water
Publisher: WILEY