A strategy for the assessment of industrial wastewater discharges with regard to the major hazard parameters toxicity, persistence and bioaccumulation is presented. The modular design of the strategy named IDA (Industrial Discharge Assessment) allows us to successively determine the three hazard parameters. Starting with the parameter toxicity biological tests for acute and chronic as well as genotoxicity are performed. Next persistence in the aquatic environment is simulated by a biological degradation test. A method based on solid-phase extraction was developed to cover the parameter bioaccumulation by determination of the amount of potentially bioaccumulating substances. The strategy was applied to real wastewater samples to test its applicability. In one of the investigated discharges toxic and persistent but no potentially bioaccumulating substances were found to be present. The strategy IDA is generally applicable and provides reasonable results to allow for a deeper insight into the hazard potential of an effluent.

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