ECHIDNA (Emerging CHemIcals Database for National Awareness): a framework to prioritise contaminants of emerging concern in water

ECHIDNA (Emerging CHemIcals Database for National Awareness): a framework to prioritise contaminants of emerging concern in water

Publication Year:
Neale, Peta Anne; Melvin, Steven D.; Hancock, Marty; Leusch, Frederic D. L.
Affiliated Orgs.:
Water Research Australia
Resource Type:
Journal Article
The article describes the development of a database called ECHIDNA (Emerging Chemicals Database for National Assessment), which aims to provide information on emerging chemicals and their potential risks to human health and the environment.
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Resource Information


The widespread presence of contaminants of emerging concern (CEC) in surface waters, treated wastewater and drinking water is an ongoing issue for the water industry. The absence of regulatory guidance and limited occurrence, toxicity and removal data are defining criteria of CEC and make it difficult to prioritise which CEC pose the greatest risk. The online Emerging CHemIcals Database for National Awareness (ECHIDNA) aims to classify and prioritise CEC based on their potential risk, with the information presented in an easily accessible and intuitive manner. A candidate list of almost 1,800 potential CEC, including pesticides, pharmaceuticals and industrial compounds, was compiled using both Australian and international resources. These were ranked based on in silico assessment of their persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic (PBT) properties, as well as potential chronic toxicity hazard, yielding 247 CEC for further prioritisation. Risk Quotients (RQ) identified between 5 and 87 CEC posing a risk to human and ecosystem health, respectively, across drinking water, surface water, treated wastewater and raw wastewater. While the ability of the water industry to effectively prioritise CEC is limited by candidate identification and data availability, ECHIDNA can provide valuable information for better decision-making surrounding CEC management.

Resource Type

Journal Article

Publication Year



Neale, Peta Anne; Melvin, Steven D.; Hancock, Marty; Leusch, Frederic D. L.



Organizational Affiliation

Water Research Australia

Specific Contaminants

Other Chemicals, Chloroacetaldehyde, Perfluorononanoic acid, Levonorgestrel ,Perfluorodecanoic acid, N-nitrosodiethylamine, Tris(2-chloroethyl)phosphate (TCEP), N-nitrosopyrrolidine, Ethinyl estradiol (EE2), 1,3,5-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2,4-Trimethylbenzene, 1,2-diphenylhydrazine, 123478-Hexachlorodibenzofuran (123478-HxCDF), N-Nitrosodibutylamine, 2-Methoxyethanol, 2,2',4,4',6-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE100), 123789-Hexachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (123789-HxCDD), Perchloropentacyclodecane (Mirex), Triethyl phosphate, Norethindrone, 1,2,3-Trichloropropane, Tris(1-chloro-2-propanyl) phosphate (TCPP), 234678-Hexachlorodibenzofuran (234678-HxCDF), 1234789-Heptachlorodibenzofuran (1234789-HpCDF), n-Decane, Bis(2-chloroethyl) ether (Di(2-chloroethyl)ether), Estriol, Fexofenadine, 4-Chloroaniline, 23478-Pentachlorodibenzofuran (23478-PeCDF), 123678-Hexachlorodibenzofuran (123678-HxCDF), Perfluorooctane sulfonamide (PFOSA), Methyl-1H-benzotriazole, Tris(methylphenyl) phosphate (Tricresyl phosphate; TCP), Acenaphthylene, 123789-Hexachlorodibenzofuran (123789-HxCDF), Octachlorodibenzofuran (OCDF), Oxybenzone, 1234678-Heptachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (1234678-HpCDD), Triallate, 1-Methylnaphthalene, 2,2',4,4'-Tetrabromodiphenyl ether (BDE47), Biphenyl, 1,2,3-Benzotriazole, n-Propylbenzene, 2,2',4,4',5-pentabromodiphenyl ether (BDE99), Perfluorohexanoic acid, Thiamethoxam, Stigmastanol, Acetamiprid, Dinotefuran, Clothianidin, Hexabromobenzene, Imazapic, 2,4,4'-tribromodiphenylether (BDE28), 2,2',3,3',4,4',5,5',6,6'-Decabromodiphenyl ether (BDE209), Imidacloprid, Imazethapyr, 2,2',4,4',5,5'-Hexabromodiphenyl ether (BDE153), Decabromodiphenyl ethane

University Affiliation

Griffith University

Business Connect Takeaways

The article describes the development of a database called ECHIDNA, which stands for Emerging CHemIcals Database for National Assessments, to assess the presence and potential risks of emerging chemicals in water
The database includes information on the occurrence, toxicity, and regulatory status of emerging chemicals, and can be used to identify potential risks to human health and the environment
The authors suggest that the ECHIDNA database can be used by policymakers, water managers, and researchers to make informed decisions about water quality and to develop effective strategies for managing emerging chemicals in water

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