May 2017

New Bio-met version released

An updated version (4.0) of the Bio-met bioavailability tool (user-friendly BLM) has been released on the Bio-met website. According to Bio-met, the new version allows faster calculations and offers now bioavailability assessments for lead (Pb).
link to Bio-met website

April 2017

New website on metals in the environment launched

A new website on “Metals in the environment – The state of the science on metal mixtures in the environment” has been launched. The site covers animated videos on metals bioavailability and metal mixtures, fact sheets for downloading and links to scientific publications on these topics.


December 2016

PNEC-pro Version 6 is now available online

A new, completely updated version of the tool PNEC-pro (V6) has been released on the PNEC-pro website. According to the developers, this version includes new functionalities:

  • A BLM-based calculation routine for the priority pollutant lead (Pb) has been included;
  • Refined, state-of-the-art functions for nickel have been implemented, using pH-dependent BLMs;
  • Export functions for graphs have been extended.

To freely download PNEC-pro V6, visit:

November 2016

Guidance on bioavailable environmental quality standards implementation for lead and nickel

A group of experts on surface water monitoring of the German Federal states (LAWA AO Expertenkreis “Stoffe”) has published guidance on how to implement the bioavailable environmental quality standards (EQSs) according to Directive 2013/39/EU in Germany. The German language document “Working Paper 2: Consideration of bioavailability in the assessment of exceedances of the environmental quality standards of lead and nickel” gives information on how to proceed with site-sprecific nickel (Ni) and lead (Pb) monitoring data. A stepwise approach is described. First it is checked whether the measured dissolved metal concentration exceeds the respective maximum allowable concentration-EQS. Then the site-specific arithmetic mean of the monthly metal concentrations is calculated and compared to the annual average-EQS of the metal. If an exceedance is observed the bioavailable metal fraction has to be determined and compared to the annual average-EQS. For the determination of bioavailable Ni the bio-met software tool is recommended. The guidance also contains a look-up table based on bio-met which allows an easy calculation of the bioavailable Ni concentration by using listed values for the “Bioavailable Fraction” (BioF) for certain combinations of measured pH values and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) concentrations.  For Pb the calculation of the site-specific BioF follows the approach described in the “Lead EQS dossier” (2011). A formula is given which allows the calculation based on the measured DOC concentration (for DOC levels above 1 mg/L). If the determined bioavailable metal concentrations also exceed the EQS in a further step background concentrations of the metals may be considered.

Link to the LAWA document:

April 2016

Update Bio-met tool

An updated version (3.04) of the Bio-met bioavailability tool (user-friendly BLM) has been released on the Bio-met website. According to Bio-met, the new version includes additional predictions of copper bioavailability at pH 6 water physico-chemistry.
link to Bio-met news release

January 2016

Metal bioavailability review paper highlighted

The review paper “Consideration of the bioavailability of metal/metalloid species in freshwaters: experiences regarding the implementation of biotic ligand model-based approaches in risk assessment frameworks” of the IUPAC task group was highlighted in the Science for Environment Policy News Alert of the DG Environment  of the European Commission:

Advances in freshwater risk assessment: experiences with Biotic Ligand Models:
To assess the risk posed by metals in the aquatic environment, Biotic Ligand Models (BLMs) were developed, and are now considered suitable for use in regulatory risk assessments. This study reviews the advantages of BLMs and BLM-based software tools, providing examples from across the EU, and offers recommendations for their widespread implementation.

Science for Environment Policy, Issue 441, 7 January 2016, Advances in freshwater risk assessment: experiences with Biotic Ligand Models, European Commission DG Environment News Alert Service. Download of the Science for Environment Policy News Alert feature