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Environmental effect indicators for priority pollutantsZwart D de; Hollander HA den; Geelen L; Huijbregts MAJ; Vakgroep Milieukunde, Radboud Universiteit, Nijmegen; LER (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu RIVM, 2006-12-11)Here a method is described for estimating public health and ecosystem effects due to the emission of priority pollutants in the Netherlands. Priority pollutants are subject to measures of emission reduction because of their immediate threat to the environment. The method proposed calculates so-called environmental effect indicators (MEI in Dutch) and is designed to test the effectiveness of the environmental policy in the Netherlands. The first indicator, for ecological environmental effect (MEI/eco), estimates the impact of priority pollutant emissions on the relative loss of species from surface waters in the Netherlands. Evaluation of historical data reveals the impact of priority pollutants on the composition of aquatic species was to have approximately halved between 1990 and 2003. When considering only the impact of emissions originating from the Netherlands, the loss of species was estimated at 3.2% in 1990 and 1.8% in 2003. The calculation of the MEI/eco is based on estimated exposure, pollutant-specific species-sensitivity distributions and considerations on mixture toxicity. The second indicator, the public health effect indicator (MEI/vgz), estimates the impact of priority pollutant emissions on the health of the Dutch population. Evaluation of historical data reveals an impact reduction of approximately one-third of the priority pollutants on public health in the Netherlands between 1990 and 2003. The impact is expressed as the loss of Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY), which is the population loss of healthy life years due to disease and untimely death. If we consider only the emissions originating from the Netherlands, the health impact is estimated at a loss of 59,000 DALY in 1990 and 41,000 DALY in 2003. The calculation of the MEI/vgz is based on estimated exposure, the pathogenic properties of priority pollutants and epidemiological considerations.