Pete, Graham, and I have been working with the Environment Agency and the European Precious Metals Federation to assess the levels of dissolved silver in the surface waters of England and Wales. Most of the monitoring for silver in surface waters has been restricted in its usefulness by the fact that the limits of detection employed are insufficient to assess the levels of silver present, and whether or not silver may be present at levels which may cause harm to aquatic life. A draft EQS for silver has been proposed by wca, on behalf of the Environment Agency, of 40 ng l-1. Our recent study utilised an improved analytical method, developed by the Environment Agency, which was able to detect silver at levels above 3 ng l-1. Despite the much lower limit of detection in this study we still found that the silver concentrations in most samples were too low to be measured, and that the levels at sites which do not receive discharges of silver are below the proposed EQS. The results of this work were used to estimate a “background” concentration of silver in the surface waters of England and Wales, which was calculated to be 6.1 ng l-1. This work has recently been published in the Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology (abstract).