2.01 - Big data analysis in ecotoxicology: how to get new information out of existing data?
Co-chairs: Gert Everaert, Jörg Römbke, Martina G. Vijver
May 15, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room E
Many chemical and ecological data are collected under different research or monitoring programs. Merging different sets of data has significantly increased our ability to investigate and quantify how a multitude of stressors may potentially alter biodiversity. In those cases, many aspects need to be tackled, amongst all: 1. missing data, 2. consistency of data, 3. specificity, 4. temporality, 5. coherence of the data, 6. existence of gradient or reference sites. Due to the different aggregation and statistical methods as well as the increased computational power we can get more and more out of those datasets. In this session, we suggest to focus on meta-analyses of existing datasets, with a helicopter view on meta-analyses in scientific research in general and ecotoxicology more specifically. We welcome research stories focusing on the burning questions like: What should people be aware of when using existing data? What tools are available for researchers to assess existing data? How to interpret data that was not tailor made for the purpose of the study? In this session, we welcome all scientists who can present “theory” or “hands-on examples” of big data analyses to illustrate the power of existing data for answering long-lasting environmental questions.
2.02 - Ecological risks under complex, multiple-stressor threat scenarios: integrating chemical effects with environmental drivers
Co-chairs: Paul van den Brink, Katherine Dafforn, Mirco Bundschuh
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room A
It is now a truism to state that the Earth is under threat from pervasive human activity, and that we have entered a new era of accelerating planetary change: The Anthropocene. In the last decade, significant advances have been, and continue to be made, in the area of ecosystem observation, through advances in earth observation technologies, ecogenomics, telemetry and the emergence of large-scale ecosystem assessment models, linked to high-capacity data streams from monitoring and assessment programs. Moreover, new mechanistic approaches are available which offer great promise in diagnosis of cause in complex stressor scenarios, including single-stressor diagnostic indices, traits-based approaches and functional genomics. For this session, we invite abstracts providing examples of case studies dealing with the combined effects of chemical and non-chemical stressors in aquatic ecosystems as well as abstracts on new tools available to analyse and model these effects. Studies on the impact on organisms’ physiology and the potential propagation of these effects to higher levels of ecological organization are included. Moreover, contributions addressing consequences of stressor-induced alterations in the community composition on horizontal (within a trophic level) and vertical (across trophic levels) interactions within food webs are covered. Studies using controlled experimental approaches (e.g., factorial designs) that further the mechanistic understanding of stressors’ interactions or correlational field studies are welcome.
2.03 - Behavioural Ecotoxicology: Unravelling behavioural responses to chemical contaminants in the environment
Co-chairs: Minna Saaristo, Kathryn Arnold, Bryan W. Brooks, Gregory G. Pyle
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room D
The field of behavioural ecotoxicology has provided important contributions for decades. Responses to contaminants vary in aquatic invertebrates and vertebrates, but common examples such as predatory -prey interaction, feeding, nest guarding, phototaxis, boldness and olfaction could have significant implications for aquatic populations, particularly in the case of threatened and endangered species. Recently, it has been suggested that personality might also play an important role in population-level adaptation to new or shifting environments. Behaviour, therefore, provides a sensitive, non-lethal biomarker of responses to environmental change. Behavioural responses of aquatic models routinely serve as early warning systems for accidental or intentional contamination events, and provide alternative animal model systems for neuroscientists, pharmacologists and other disciplines in the biomedical studies. Corresponding technological advances have allowed for unprecedented capacity to quantify such responses. Despite these contributions, applications and technological advances, behavioural perturbations elicited by contaminants are rarely employed during traditional environmental risk assessments, potentially because standardized methods and adverse outcome pathways have not been developed and validated across species and laboratories. The main objective of this session is to focus on studies conducted at environmentally relevant concentrations, and unravel behavioural end-points that are ecologically and evolutionarily relevant to the fitness. Specifically, we welcome research projects, which have attempted the ‘lab to field’ approach, and predicted the ecosystem outcomes of the ecological effects of chemical contaminants. The goal of this session is to critically examine the role of behaviour within the context of mechanistic, but environmentally realistic ecotoxicology, and environmental hazard and risk assessment. Questions such as: 1. What information is needed to advance the field?; 2. Which behaviours represent ecologically important adverse outcomes?; 3. Where are technological advances improving behavioural studies?; 4. How can laboratory variability be defined?; and 5. Should ecologically important behavioural responses contribute to regulatory ecotoxicology and decision making? are targeted for this timely session. This session provides a platform to experts from different disciplines and career stages to give insights into the behavioural responses of animals to environmental change with an emphasis on chemical pollutants.
2.04 - Microbial community ecotoxicology in environmental risk assessment and ecosystem monitoring
Co-chairs: Ahmed Tlili, Mechthild Schmitt-Jansen, Kristian Koefoed Brandt
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room B
Community ecotoxicology arose from the need to increase the ecological relevance of environmental risk assessment by describing patterns in community structure and function in response to pollutant exposures, and explaining the underlying mechanisms for these patterns. Being composed of many species displaying different sensitivities to pollutants, microbial communities (e.g., aquatic biofilms, bacterio- and phytoplankton, microbial litter decomposers, or soil microorganisms) reflect a significant fraction of the biological variability and complexity occurring in aquatic and soil ecosystems. In this context, an important insight is that community-level adverse outcomes can derive from multiple causes, including both direct toxic effects on key organisms as well as indirect effects emerging when species interaction networks are disrupted. Such indirect mechanisms may weaken pollutant effects because of compensatory processes or they may exacerbate impacts, which can also be amplified over time. The objective of this session is, therefore, to provide a platform that brings together both existing information and new ideas and discoveries that address the multidimensional complexity of microbial community ecotoxicology. Specifically, central topics include, but are not limited to, (i) the importance of indirect effects of pollutants through microbial species interactions and foodwebs; (ii) effects of multiple stressors, including interactions between pollutants and environmental factors; (iii) the development of microbial community tolerance to pollutants; (iv) the use of -omics technologies in microbial community ecotoxicology; and (v) the development of new microbial community-level ecotoxicological test schemes, targeting ecosystem services provided by microorganisms. Especially welcome are contributions that enhance our mechanistic understanding of community composition and diversity, species interactions, and consequences for ecosystem processes induced by chemicals, such as pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals, metals or nano- and microparticles, and non-chemical stressors.
2.05 - Plants: predicting and assessing direct, indirect effects and recovery of plants from chemical stress
Co-chairs: Stefania Loutseti, Udo Hommen, Henry O Krueger, Gertie Arts
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room N
This session, organized by the SETAC Global Plant Interest Group, welcomes contributions that focus on new developments in plant ecotoxicology and how these may be used constructively in the risk assessment of plant protection products and other chemical stressors. We are placing emphasis on terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems and particularly new developments emerging from 1) the publication of the EFSA Opinion on Non-Target Terrestrial Plants 2) the finalization of two multi-stakeholder reports from 2 SETAC workshops about the risk assessment for non-target terrestrial plants and 3) the recovery of plants from temporary chemical stress and how to consider this in pesticide risk assessment; all quite heavily debated topics already for a few years. In two SETAC Europe workshops, effects on reproduction, available methods for lower and higher-tier testing, mitigation and compensation were discussed as part of a tiered risk assessment for non-target terrestrial plants. However, there is a need to further refine and develop higher tier test methods and risk assessment refinement tools for NTTPs. The concept of recovery after temporary exposure has mostly been applied in aquatic risk assessment and here it has been most often used for macro-invertebrate and zoo- and phytoplankton populations. However, the application of the Ecological Recovery Option is currently critically considered in some EU member states. Especially for terrestrial plants and aquatic macrophytes, discussions are performed about the appropriate endpoints to assess recovery. For example, is it sufficient to demonstrate recovery of growth rate, which can be performed in refined exposure tests in the laboratory, or should we focus on expected recovery of e.g. biomass of plant populations in the field, which should require either field tests or modelling approaches or a combination. Beside risk assessment for Non-Target Terrestrial Plants and the application of the recovery concept for algae, macrophytes and terrestrial plants, the session will also include presentations on: • Experiments dealing with effects of other chemicals than plant protection products on plants, e.g. metals, industrial chemicals, or endocrine disrupting chemicals, • New or refined testing methods for plants, including single species tests with non-standard species and multi-species tests systems, • Modeling studies to describe and predict effects of toxicants on plant populations and communities, • Interactions between plants and other species in relation to stressor exposure, e.g., indirect effects with microorganisms or phyto-remediation • Uptake of chemicals by plants related to either toxicity or remediation.
2.06 - Recent developments in environmental risk assessment for pollinators
Co-chairs: Ivo Roessink, Nicole Hanewald, Jacoba Wassenberg
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room E
Estimates show that animal pollination contribute around $235 to $577 billion to global agriculture each year. Furthermore, this value does not consider the ecosystem service of pollinating wild plants and by that contribute to biodiversity also by ensuring habitat. It is therefore desirable to develop a common and reasonable framework to protect this pollination service. One of the main pollinators are insects and especially bees. Worldwide there are around 20 000 known bee species and about three-quarters of our food crops rely to some extent on their pollination services. Although managed honeybee hives in general have increased over the last five decades, wild pollinators have declined in occurrence and diversity at local and regional scales. A number of features of current land use, e.g. intensive agricultural practices, threaten pollinators and pollination. One of these features is the use of pesticides and the risk to pollinators arises through a combination of toxicity and the level of exposure, which varies geographically with the compounds used and the scale of land management and habitat in the landscape. When concerning pollinators, the environmental risk assessment of plant protection products focussed traditionally on honeybees. However, how well the honeybee can act as a surrogate for other pollinators has become a reason for concern, lately. As a result, bumblebees and solitary bees have become a focus of new regulatory research in Europe, while in other parts of the world more attention is given to local bee species. In addition, a more mechanistic approach is adopted in pollinator risk assessment , resulting in for instance more sophisticated models like Beehave and the newly commissioned Must-B model (EFSA). This sessions aims to provide a balanced overview of the ongoing developments in pollinator risk assessment and consequently presentations in this session may comprise, but do not have to be limited to, results about first and higher tier effect studies with (non)apis species, exposure assessment of (non)apis species, modelling of exposure of pollinators, modelling of effects on pollinators, impact analysis of current developed risk assessments, proposals for assessing the risk to pollinators globally, impacts of pesticides or pathogens and their combinations, et cetera. Aspects dealing with the spatial and temporal ecology of pollinators in various landscapes are highly welcomed as well as contributions from outside Europe.
2.07 - Salt of the earth - causes, consequences and management of salinization of surface freshwaters, groundwaters and soils
Co-chairs: Ben J Kefford, Ralf Bernhard Schäfer, James M. Lazorchak
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster session)
Many human activities like agriculture, deicing of roads, resource extraction and rising sea levels are increasing the total concentration of dissolved inorganic salts (i.e. salinity) in surface freshwaters, groundwaters and soils. Increasing salinity can have adverse effects on human health increase the costs of water treatment for human consumption, reducing agricultural production and damage infrastructure. It can also reduce aquatic and terrestrial biodiversity, alter ecosystem functions and affect economic well-being by altering ecosystem goods and services (e.g. fisheries collapse). Yet environmental quality legislation and regulations that target salinity typically focus on drinking water and irrigation water, which does not automatically protect biodiversity. For example, specific electrical conductivities (a proxy for salinity) of 2 mS/cm can be acceptable for drinking and irrigation, but could extirpate many freshwater species, especially insects. Salinity standards for specific ions and ion mixtures, not just for total salinity should be developed and legally enforced to protect freshwater life and ecosystem services. Attempts to regulate salinization based on ecological criteria can be found in the US and Australia, where total salinity recommendations have been made. Even these criteria are insufficient to protect freshwater life because waters with the same total amount of salts but different ionic composition can have markedly different effects on biota. Canada and the US are the only countries in the world that identify concentrations of a specific ion (but only chloride) above which freshwater life will be harmed. Globally, concentrations of other ions (e.g. Mg2+, HCO3-) remain free from regulation in spite of their potential toxicity. The situation will likely worsen in the future because predicted increase in demand for freshwater will reduce the capacity of surface and ground waters to dilute salts, and increasing resource extraction and other human activities will generate additional saline effluents and runoff. Climate change will likely exacerbate salinization by causing seawater intrusion in coastal regions, increasing evaporation, and reducing precipitation in some regions. Increased salinity can also alter the effects of other chemical and non-chemical stressors. This session will focus on the latest research and findings associates with the causes of salinization, consequences (effects) of salinity on single organisms, communities and ecosystem services in freshwater, groundwater, soil and other terrestrial environments. In addition the session will seek presentations on setting standards for salinity, single ions or anions, how salinity and specific ions alter the effect of other stressors and toxicants, presentation on various management measures that can be taken to reduce the impacts of salts and future prospects for salinity changes and their ecological effects.
2.08 - When ecotoxicology meets trophic ecology
Co-chairs: Clémentine Fritsch, Michael Danger, M. Glória Pereira
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room O
Trophic interactions are a crucial vector of contaminant transfer in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Many organisms are exposed through ingestion of contaminated biotic or abiotic matter; this route is considered predominant for a wide variety of organisms and has many ecotoxicological implications (e.g. trophic transfer and trophic availability, secondary poisoning and biomagnification, contaminant transport model, spatial and temporal variability of exposure, nutritional physiology and composition, exposure modelling and risk assessment, biomonitoring, trophic cascades, community ecotoxicology). Trophic interactions can also shape direct and indirect effects of pollutants on individuals, populations and ecosystems. This, in particular through trophic cascades (bottom-up and top-down regulation) and interactions within community (competition, mutualism, tolerance and resilience properties of communities). Individual sensitivity to toxicants can be affected by trophic parameters such as nutritional stress, energy budget, and ecological stoichiometry which could play either as additional stressors or as protective factors. At the same time, contaminants can be considered as tracers of trophic relationships and help deciphering trophic connections, cascades and their consequences. Toxicants can also shape trophic interactions within communities (role of “super-predator”, competitive selection, bottom-up regulation…) with direct and indirect effects. Beyond historical examples and current knowledge, many questions calling to both ecotoxicology and trophic ecology are still open, and such new insights may help both fundamental and operational barriers related to environmental pollution to be overcome. Considering contaminants as stressors, how could they affect trophic relationships and their functional and evolutionary implications? From a trophic ecology point of view, how nutritional stress or the shape of trophic interactions within communities can affect organism and ecosystem responses to environmental contamination? How trophic ecology could bring operational tools for risk assessment, monitoring or management of environmental pollution? Overall, how trophic ecology could feed ecotoxicology and the other way round? What can be learned from an unified framework merging ecotoxicology and trophic ecology? In this session, we invite presentations providing research results handling trophic or nutritional ecology questions in an ecotoxicological context or contaminant issues within trophic ecology studies. We also welcome reviews, opinions or cutting-edge prospects about trophic ecotoxicology.
2.09 - Wildlife ecotoxicology: laboratory dosing studies to field population assessments
Co-chairs: John E. Elliott, Veerle Jaspers, Emmanuelle Bonneris, Scott Glaberman
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room E
Wildlife, including birds, mammals, reptiles and amphibians, can be exposed to a plethora of contaminants from a range of exposure scenarios. Dietary exposure to persistent bioaccumulative contaminants via food chains is generally at relatively low levels but chronic over time. However, wild animals can also be acutely exposed via dietary, respiratory or dermal routes to relatively high levels of chemicals purposely released in the environment. Those can include plant protection products, insecticides or fungicides, or mammalian pest control products such as rodenticides. Effects of low level, chronic exposure to compounds may be very elusive and difficult to factor from effects of other stressors. Recent advances in molecular biology our improving our ability to detect such subtle perturbations. Generally, exposure does not result in direct mortality, but animals show lower fitness, and may be more vulnerable to other stressors. In contrast, effects of acute toxicity may be relatively obvious, including mortality, although affected animals may be difficult to find in the field. Linking subtle molecular or ‘biomarker’ effects to individual health can be challenging, linking effects detected at the individual level, even mortality, to impacts at the population level is even more challenging. For both regulatory purposes and risk assessment it is essential to obtain information on risks from both acute and chronic exposure scenarios, and to attempt to determine links between measurable biomarkers, other stress factors and implications for populations, and even communities. In this session we are soliciting presentations that provide insight into effects at both molecular and higher levels of organization, and in particular studies that make credible connections between levels of organization and with other environmental variables. That includes assessments utilizing an adverse outcome (AOP) approach.
1.01 - Advancing the Adverse Outcome Pathway Framework - An International Horizon Scanning Approach
Co-chairs: Carlie LaLone, Markus Hecker
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room P
The adverse outcome pathway (AOP) framework has gained international traction as a systematic approach for capturing existing toxicological knowledge to transparently link mechanistic data to apical toxicity endpoints as a means to inform research and regulatory assessments. While the AOP concept has matured and evolved significantly since its introduction in 2010, there was the recognition that a survey of the broader scientific community would be useful in identifying shortcomings and guiding future initiatives for the AOP framework. To that end, a ‘Horizon Scanning’ exercise was conducted to solicit questions from global scientific and regulatory communities concerning the perceived challenges and/or limitations that must be addressed to realize the full potential of the AOP framework in research and regulatory decision-making. Questions were submitted from all sectors (academia, government, industry, and NGOs) and from across the globe. These questions were then used to identify key themes that, if addressed, would significantly advance development and application of the AOP framework. To begin exploring these themes and answering associated key questions, a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Pellston™ Workshop was held in Cornwall, Ontario, in April 2017. This session serves as a platform to summarize the results from the Horizon Scanning exercise, describe the outcomes of the Pellston workshop, and explore advances in the science or application of the AOP framework. Therefore, although abstracts describing outcomes of the Pellston workshop are of interest, it is our intent to recruit presenters from the broader scientific community, not just those that participated in the workshop. Specifically, presentations are anticipated to cover topics including the development, application, and analysis of AOP networks, building and applying quantitative models from AOPs, and application of AOPs in regulatory decision-making throughout the chemical life-cycle, including innovation, registration, and stewardship. Furthermore, talks may explore a roadmap to enhance awareness of, involvement in, and acceptance of the AOP concept by regulatory agencies, scientists, and other stakeholder groups, which was a topic discussed during the workshop. Finally, presentations will review frequently asked questions identified during horizon scanning and address common misunderstandings pertaining to the AOP framework. At the end of the session, the audience will be asked to participate in a panel discussion following presentations to build upon ideas and outcomes derived from the session presentations and the SETAC Pellston™ Workshop to advance the use of the AOP framework for both research and regulatory decision-making.
1.02 - Alternative Approaches to Animal Testing for Ecotoxicity Assessments
Co-chairs: Adam Lillicrap, Teresa J Norberg-King, Mark Lampi
May 14, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 13:30 p.m. | Room P
With this session, new and novel approaches to the use of vertebrate species (e.g. fish, amphibians, and birds) for ecotoxicity tests will be explored, with a focus on understanding the role that various animal alternatives have in supporting environmental hazard and risk assessments of chemicals. Numerous technical and regulatory challenges need to be considered during the future integration of the traditional 3Rs (reduction, refinement, and replacement of animal tests). These challenges also include consideration of the more recent 6Rs approach that any alternative approach is also robust/reliable, repeatable and most importantly, appropriate for regulatory use. In Europe, the need for alternative approaches has been primarily driven by certain legislations such as the EU Directive on the protection of animals used for scientific purposes, the UK Animals (Scientific Procedures) Act, the 7th Amendment to the EU Cosmetics Directive, selected legislation in Germany and the European chemical legislation REACH. As an example, in REACH it is possible in principle to fulfill ‘standard information requirements’ by other means than new experimental studies: existing non-GLP and non-guideline data; weight of evidence WoE approaches; QSAR predictions; in vitro methods; grouping of substances and read-across approaches. This session will explore new approaches towards developing and adopting efficient chemical (including effluents) assessments related to both acute and chronic ecotoxicity endpoints. Enhanced predictive models (e.g. QSARs) and new developments for in vitro and in vivo models to support environmental risk assessments will also be a focus. Some of the adaptations may also be based on novel approach methodologies such as Adverse Outcome Pathways (AOPs) and/or OMICs. This session will explore new approaches towards developing and adopting efficient chemical assessments and also the hazard assessments of effluents for both acute and chronic ecotoxicity endpoints. We encourage presentations that include read-across, enhanced predictive models (e.g. QSARs) and new developments for in vitro and in vivo models to support environmental risk assessments. Additionally, progress relating to the generation of new bioaccumulation data using alternative approaches, particularly for PBT assessments, or how the various approaches or methods could be accepted into a regulatory framework and/or integrated test strategy are also encouraged. We encourage discussions on how to address uncertainties, challenges, advances and needs for further development for alternative approaches particularly in support of understanding potential limitations/advantages. And finally, we encourage discussion of how any new approach could be accepted into a regulatory framework or integrated test strategy. This session is organized by the SETAC Animal Alternatives in Environmental Science Interest Group (AAES).
1.03 - BiER is good for you: How biotransformation and elimination rate information can improve chemical assessments
Co-chairs: Michelle Rau Embry, Jon A. Arnot, Ester Papa
May 17, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room Q
Pharmacokinetics (PK) and toxicokinetics (TK) describe and quantify the processes and rates of chemical absorption, distribution, metabolism (biotransformation) and elimination in an organism. While PK relates to therapeutic objectives, TK relates to toxicological objectives and in general terms both “PK” and “TK” relate to “what the organism does to the chemical”. These biokinetic processes play an important role in ecological and human health assessments by influencing a substance’s fate, exposure, bioaccumulation, and toxicity. Biotransformation and elimination rate (i.e. BiER) data can be utilized in diverse contexts for chemical assessments (prioritization, screening, in-depth). There are numerous activities aimed at collecting existing or generating new BiER data measured in vitro and in vivo in various species. This session shows recent developments and applications in BiER-related science. The aim is to highlight how data streams provided by in vitro and in vivo measurements and computational (in silico) predictions can be used for different context-specific objectives including evaluations to reduce and regulate the use of chemicals in the environment, such as PBT assessment and exposure and risk assessment. The session may include but is not limited to: database development, testing programs, QSAR development, PBP(T)K model development, species extrapolation / sensitivity analysis, in vitro method development / application, and regulatory applications (e.g., risk assessment, prioritization / screening, bioaccumulation assessment, etc.). We welcome presentations that describe ongoing or planned projects related to biotransformation and elimination rates in various species / taxa (plants, invertebrates, fish, rodents, birds, veterinary / agricultural species, humans, etc.) as well as applications(s) and data gaps identified for legacy contaminants, emerging contaminants and chemical mixtures. This session will provide a platform to highlight ongoing efforts and applications, with an effort towards facilitating communication and coordination amongst stakeholders.
1.04 - Ecotoxicology of micro and nanoplastics: Mechanistic approaches to understand their risk for the environment and human health
Co-chairs: Francisca Fernandez-Piñas, Roberto Rosal, Miguel Tamayo Belda
May 17, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room N
Microplastics have long been recognized as environmental pollutants causing impacts to marine and terrestrial life. However, the importance of the smaller fractions, nanoplastics, has only been documented in recent times. Nanoplastics, like other nanomaterials, have unique properties due to their size, shape and their capacity to interact with other substances due to their large surface area. Nanoplastics can produce physical damage but they may also be transported across cell membranes and persist in the environment due to their relative inertness. In this regard, mechanistic approaches are needed in order to identify the cascade of signaling events, at different levels of biological organization, which induce a cellular, whole organism or ecological response to micro and nanoplastic exposure.The chemical composition of plastics makes them a conveyor for non-polar anthropogenic pollutants supposing an additional risk factor for which very little is known. This session aims at: 1) Gathering the information required to evaluate the risk posed by micro and nanoplastics to the environment and human health in real-world scenarios; 2) Identifying the components of Potential Outcome Pathways at different levels of biological organization from molecules and whole organismsto ecological responses; for this, special attention will be paid to the mechanisms of micro and nanoplastic internalization and to their toxic action by using suitable biomarkers as indicators of cytotoxicity, cell viability, oxidative and genotoxic damages. The use of high-throughput techniques (RNA-Seq and proteomics) may allow the generation of biomarkers (genes and proteins) of global importance in the elucidation of the biological effects of micro and nanoplastics. At the higher levels of biological organization it is important to consider structural changes at the level of population and communities and 3) Discussing the role of micro and nanoplastics as vectors for other pollutants and, for the case of larger particles, as habitats for microbial communities growing on them as biofilms.
1.05 - Emergence and multidimensional interactions of engineered nanoparticles in toxicology
- Sankar Ganesh Palani, Birla Institute of Technology & Science, Hyderabad Campus, India
- Siva Prasad Bitragunta, Environmental Biotechnology Division, Environment Protection Training and Research Institute (EPTRI), Hyderabad, India
- Samuel Robert Thompson, NA, UK
- Richard Cross, College of Life and Environmental Sciences, UK
May 16, 2018, 10:50a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room N
Innovative and naive properties of engineered nanoparticles (ENPs) have facilitated their use in various industrial applications including cosmetics and pharmaceuticals. Recent reports indicate that the production of nano-based products will substantially increase in the future. Furthermore, massive use of nanoparticles has already gained momentum without referring to their possible environment and health implications. Thus extensive use of ENPs in various commercial applications will inevitably release ENPs and their byproducts into various compartments of environment. In this pursuit, investigations pertaining to the fate and behavior of ENPs to divulge their adverse effects on environment have gained prominence across the globe. In this regard, risk assessment of ENPs has attracted the attention of toxicologists and regulatory scientists in recent times. Moreover, to reveal the role of intrinsic properties of ENPs and their influence on toxicity in living systems, there is need for interdisciplinary approaches in risk assessment of ENPs. Effective (bio) analytical methods for ascertaining exposure levels and screening tests for toxicity are vital for establishing risk assessment of ENPs. Several research efforts in this pursuit divulged physicochemical characterization of the particles, cellular uptake, dose and exposure duration. However, outcomes of these studies have raised more questions than answers. Therefore conundrum of possible interactions of ENPs and their potential to induce toxicity remains as a transdisciplinary challenge. Hence it is need of the hour to welcome responsible and innovative research ideas to understand the integrated efforts of nanotechnologists, toxicologists and regulatory scientists for establishing toxicity profiles of ENPs. Therefore, the session is aimed at providing a forum for exchanging ideas pertaining to well-characterized nanomaterials together with appropriate experimental design, and a combination of conventional toxicological approaches with high throughput tools including ‘omics’, that can assist in understanding the toxicity of ENPs. Outcomes of the sessions are intended to contribute to the understanding of application of conventional in vitro toxicological approaches to assess toxicity of ENPs, develop new methods that can address interactions of ENPs with media and sentinel species.
1.06 - Fish model species in human and environmental toxicology
Co-chairs: Jessica Legradi, Jorke Kamstra, Riccardo Massei
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room P
Fish models are commonly used in human and ecotoxicological research to investigate the impact of chemicals on whole organisms. In fact, many important biological functions are conserved between fish species and humans. Fish have a wide application domain, spanning from basic developmental biology, neurobiology, endocrinology to immunology. The small size of some available fish species including the zebrafish (Danio rerio) or medaka (Oryzias latipes) and their robust nature makes them ideally suited for application in automated high throughput screening. Furthermore, fish early life stages offer all the key attributes of a complex in vivo system (e.g. including metabolism), as well as the advantages of the in vitro assays, as tests can be conducted in multiwell plate formats with small sample volumes and run in short periods of time. These characteristics make them well suited for toxicity testing of environmental samples and to detect unknown contaminants in effect directed analysis (EDA). Research on fish over the last decade has been greatly facilitated by the increasing number of sequenced genomes, which are available for more than twelve species with more pending. This, together with recent advances in genetic and epigenetic studies, including gene knockout and transgenesis technologies, greatly facilitates the understanding of the molecular mechanisms of toxicity, making fish ideally suited for defining adverse outcome pathways (AOPs). Due to the large similarity with other vertebrates, there is also a growing interest in the application of fish model species in human disease etiology and early development. Fish early life stages have recently been used in several cancer genetics studies and drug discovery tests. In ecotoxicology, fish are also studied outside of the laboratory in their native environment. Prominent models for native fish models are roach (Rutilus rutilus) and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). Studying fish in their natural habitat allows to investigate further than simple dose-effect assessments. Within this session, we intend to show recent developments in toxicological research using a variety of different fish model species, novel systems, endpoints, assays and testing strategies. We will focus on molecular approaches that could lead to new AOPs. Results of toxicity studies of single stressors as well as complex environmental samples are of interest. Molecular effects, multigenerational effects, and population level impacts will be considered. We especially welcome presentations highlighting new Omics approaches for metabolomics, transcriptomics, epigenomics, proteomics and lipidomics, ideally linking these to phenotype for use in AOPs. The session will be interdisciplinary and bring together researchers across a wide range of research areas with the view to enhance approaches for studying adverse effects in human and wildlife.
1.07 - Fungicides - an overlooked compound group? Fate, effects, risk assessment and mitigation
Co-chairs: Ralf Bernhard Schäfer, Jochen Zubrod, Jes Rasmussen, Gertie Arts
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. (Poster) & 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. (Poster corner) | Exhibition hall
Most studies on pesticides have focused on herbicide and insecticide exposure and effects, whereas relatively few studies have dealt with fungicides, despite their widespread use. Although fungicide use varies with region and the crop that is protected, it can regionally account for up to 45% of applied mass (European Union) and, regarding the crop, for more than 90% of all pesticide applications (viticulture). Fungicide use may increase due to altered climatic conditions and invasive fungal species. Moreover, risk assessment considers vertebrates, invertebrate and plant species, which are the primary non-target organisms for insecticides and herbicides, whereas groups or processes that are most susceptible to fungicides play a negligible role. This latter includes fungal communities, which dominate key processes in ecosystems such as organic matter processing and nutrient cycling. Recent studies point to adverse effects of fungicides on fungal communities as well as on the ecosystem processes that fungi provide. As fungi positively (e.g., conditioning of detritus) and negatively (e.g., via parasitism) interact with other organisms, such effects have also been shown to result in indirect fungicide effects on other taxonomic groups. In addition, other taxonomic groups can also be directly affected by fungicides because these substances act on biological processes that are highly conserved (e.g., energy production). Direct effects have been reported for a wide range of organisms including aquatic non-fungal microorganisms, plants, as well as invertebrate and vertebrate animals. Our session will 1) wrap up the state of the science with respect to fungicide exposure and effects on organism groups, including presentations from the EU project SERIOR 2) critically assess the specifics of fungicides in comparison to other toxicant groups and related conclusions for exposure and effects assessment (e.g. exposure modelling, sampling, test systems) 3) unite scientists and risk managers from government and industry to discuss mitigation options and whether the risk assessment of fungicides requires improvement in the light of recent studies
1.08 - Integrated approaches in ecotoxicology: bridging the gap between experimental toxicology and mechanistic modelling
Co-chairs: Andre Gergs, Jean-Pierre Desforges, Elke Zimmer
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room P
A major challenge for ecotoxicologists is to understand the complex real-world situation in which terrestrial and aquatic organisms are dynamically exposed to multiple chemical and environmental stressors. The major goal of environmental risk assessment is to predict adverse outcomes from exposure to stressors, and new and innovative approaches are needed to address stressor interactions. Experimental and field-based toxicology provide a wealth of information on stressor impacts at different levels of biological organization; molecular (-omics), cellular, organ, individual, and population-level. There is still however little understanding of how effects translate across levels and ultimately affect organism fitness, especially for interactions on different endpoints and for non-apical endpoints (e.g. endocrine disruptors, immunotoxicants). There is increasing interest from stakeholders to develop mechanistic models for risk assessment that focus on the underlying processes governing environmental or physiological changes to extrapolate across levels and make predictions for untested scenarios. Integrated approaches utilizing the vast ‘toolbox’ in ecotoxicology are needed to better understand the links between exposure and biological effects of contaminants and other stressors. The ultimate goal of increasing our mechanistic understanding behind stressor effects can however only be reached by bringing the two disciplines together and confronting model predictions and data. This session hopes to bring together experimental/field toxicologists and mechanistic modellers to strengthen the link between observable effects and risk assessment. This session will focus on mechanistic ecotoxicology, considering innovative modelling approaches at all biological levels, with an emphasis on studies that further our understanding of toxicity/stress processes via translation of experimental or biomarker data to mechanistic models. We hope to include a broad array of mechanistic models, ranging from the molecular (eg. quantitative adverse outcome pathways (qAOP)), individual (eg. dynamic energy budgets) to population and ecosystem scale. Studies that link effects across levels are particularly encouraged. We also encourage contributions from studies in experimental toxicology/stress ecology, ranging from experiments in the laboratory to the field, particularly those with a strong emphasis on mechanistic underpinnings of exposure and effects or toxicity pathways.
1.09 - Luminescent biomonitoring via bioassays of different complexity - from cells trough enzyme reactions to proteins
Co-chairs: Nadezhda Kudryasheva, Valentina Kratasyuk, Elizaveta Baigina, Anna Sergeevna Sachkova
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room O
Ability to emit light by several organisms is widely used by researchers in toxicological investigations. Luminescence is assumed here as physiological function, it is sensitive to the presence of exogenous compounds. Therefore, a change of luminescent intensity is applied to evaluate quantitatively a toxicity of media or monitor adaptive (hormetic) response of organisms. Luminescence is a highly convenient tool in ecotoxicology, since it can be registered with simple physical devices. This type of registration is not time consuming, it provides many experimental results under comparable conditions, which is essential for their statistical treatment. Luminescent assay systems can base on living systems of different complexity – from high organisms down to cells and proteins. Last decades have seen a development of a new type bioassays based on enzymatic reactions – enzymatic bioassays. Enzymatic bioassays estimate rates of biochemical reactions under toxicant influence, and provide understanding toxicity mechanisms at molecular and macromolecular levels. The next step should lead to understanding the physicochemical processes in biological responses to toxic exposures, basing on bioassay systems of simplest structure. The subsection invites proposal submission from researchers working with luminous organisms, enzyme reactions, fluorescent proteins, so on. Fundamental and applied aspects are encouraged, including ecological monitoring of waste and fresh waters, soils, and air; application of luminescent bioassays in remediation procedures, luminescent ecological biosensors and instrumentation.
1.10 - Advances in evaluating and regulating endocrine disruptors
Co-chairs: Heiko L. Schoenfuss, Gerd Maack, Francesca Pellizzato, Lennart Weltje
May 17, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room P
Endocrine Disruptors are chemicals that interfere with the endocrine system and consequently cause adverse effects to human health and/or the environment. Given the resultant public concern, these compounds have received significant research attention over the past 20 years. This has led to the development of test systems, which include in silico, in vitro, and in vivo techniques focused on detecting potential endocrine activity, and in vivo tests that collect apical data to detect possible adverse effects. The EU legislation gives provisions for protecting consumers, workers and the environment from endocrine disrupting chemical substances used in plant protection products, biocidal products, industrial chemicals (REACH), and cosmetics. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is working to further develop and validate test guidelines to detect endocrine disruptors relevant to both human health and the environment and it is currently updating the guidance document OECD 150 on standardized test guidelines for evaluating chemicals for endocrine disruption. In relation to the latest advancement at regulatory and scientific level, the aim of this session is to provide a forum for discussing the regulatory needs to further develop endocrine disruption testing methods and to harmonizing assessment approaches across regulatory frameworks. Pragmatic, science-based approaches for chemical hazard and risk characterization rely on integrated analysis of existing information in weight of evidence assessments. Advanced Outcome Pathways (AOPs) make it possible to map, organize and integrate information at different levels of biological organization. We encourage speakers to incorporate the AOP concept in informing the knowledge gaps that are being highlighted in the presentations. These gaps could include a lack of certainty regarding: 1) adequately sensitive species and life stages; 2) mechanistic endpoints that are diagnostic for endocrine pathways of concern; 3) the linkage between mechanistic responses and apical, adverse outcomes and 4) complex chemical mixtures. Furthermore, some existing test methods are resource intensive with regard to time, cost, and use of animals creating economic and ethical concerns. In addition, the link between endpoints used in the current tests, which include apical endpoints as well as mechanistic endpoints, and adverse population-level effects is often unclear. Further limitations included absence of test methods and a need to address key endocrine pathways of possible concern in addition to those associated with estrogen, androgen and thyroid signalling pathways. This session is adopted by SETAC Endocrine Disrupter Testing and Risk Assessment Interest Group.
1.11 - Obesogens and lipid disruptors
Co-chairs: Cinta Porte, Filipe Castro, Miguel Machado Santos, Carlos Barata
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. | Room P
Lipids are vital components of all living organisms and constitute one of the three major building blocks of life. Their transversal involvement in numerous biological processes makes their study a fundamental task in the comprehension of biological diversity. Importantly, lipids are structurally very diverse, and there are currently, nearly 10,000 different lipid structures described. The development of high-resolution mass spectrometry, together with the extensive use of electrospray ionization (ESI) has made possible to resolve complex lipidomes and to identify and quantify hundreds of molecular lipid species. Although lipid analysis is still full of challenges, lipidomic studies have strongly emerged in the area of human research for disease biomarker discovery. Recently several studies have found that many contaminants including mammalian obesogens are able to disrupt lipid homeostasis in many vertebrate and invertebrate species. This is because several molecular signaling pathways of lipid metabolism are phylogenetically conserved. There is also evidence that some of the chemicals that disrupt lipid metabolism have multigenerational/transgenerational effects probably due to epigenetic mechanisms. We invite research studies that bring forward innovative insights into the interference of pollutants with lipid metabolism in different organisms encompassing the whole animal kingdom (from cells to mammals). We embrace multi-model approaches (in-vitro, in-vivo), from both field- and laboratory-based research, with different perspectives, from molecular to physiological and evolutionary/epigenetic outlines, to gain a better/multidisciplinary knowledge of the interference of chemicals with lipid metabolism and accumulation, to advance in the understanding of obesogenic and lipid disruption processes in the environment and the ecological significance of these impacts. Analytical works using novel methodologies aimed at identifying individual lipid species and lipidomic approaches are welcome.
1.12 - The added value of using invertebrate species in ecotoxicology: new insights for environmental risk assessment
Co-chairs: Carlos Barata, João Pestana, Bruno Campos
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room P
Invertebrate species are commonly used in ecotoxicity testing to investigate the impact of chemicals on the environment. A range of regulatory guidelines (OECD, ISO, EPA) are available, combining different invertebrate species and toxicological endpoints. However these guidelines and studies are mainly prescriptive and limited to relatively few species. Invertebrates, model and non-model species from the three compartments of the biosphere (air, water and soil), offer far greater range of interest for research, spanning from classical toxicological characterization to modern integrative approaches, with proxy potential in substitution of vertebrate testing. The small size, ease of maintenance and short life cycles of most invertebrate species commonly used in environmental sciences make them also very suitable for evaluating effects at different levels of organization within single and combined exposures with other chemicals or with other natural/anthropogenic stressors. Automated high throughput screening applications to guild related traits, and transposing to ecosystem functions make them good models for assessing toxic effects in the laboratory and the field using micro, mesocosms and transplant experiments. The emergence and accessibility to advanced molecular based technologies are allowing ever more complex research involving genome studies while recent tools for genome editing are greatly facilitating our understanding of the molecular cascades triggered in response to stress and its phenotypic consequences. Molecular based technologies combined with system biology approaches offer the possibility to assess effects from the transcriptome, metabolome, organ or individual as well as the linkage to higher ecological levels, e.g. such as population level. Within this session we intend to show the latest breakthroughs and new directions in toxicological research using invertebrates, focusing on novel systems, endpoints, assays and testing strategies. We invite presentations focusing on lab and field studies addressing impacts across several levels of biological organization considering molecular, life-history, demographic and/or behavioural endpoints; studies focused on a mechanistic understanding of toxic effects and/or on risk assessment of chemical pollutants alone or interacting with natural and other anthropogenic stressors (temperature, food, nutrients, etc). We also invite industry to show latest high-throughput approaches using invertebrate species.
1.13 - Systems ecotoxicology: application of OMICS data across multiple level of biological organization in research and risk assessment
Co-chairs: Anze Zupanic, Bruno Campos, Philipp Antczak, Jana Asselman
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room P
More than 140,000 chemicals are pre-registered under Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) legislation in the European Union (EU). For a large number of these chemicals, little or no information is available on their environmental toxicology and current standard ecotoxicity testing procedures provide little mechanistic information. To address the challenges of 21st century ecotoxicology, there is need to develop generalist tools which not only provide early warning of potential (eco)toxicological effects, but also are able to measure change across increasing levels of biological organization, from the sub-cellular to the ecosystem. It is with regards to this that OMIC technologies (metagenOMICs, transcriptOMICs, proteOMICs, lipidOMICs, epigenOMICs and metabolOMICs, etc) are transforming the way we obtain toxicology data. Whilst these technologies are relatively new, they are now being routinely used by an increasing number of researchers, and have resulted in a paradigm shift in the way biological data is obtained, analysed and interpreted. One of the biggest challenges currently facing ecotoxicology is to interpret these large scale datasets and use them to develop coherent biological models of stress response that will allow us to understand and predict the consequences in their complex environment. While most studies in recent have focused on single OMIC technologies, it is being increasingly recognized that statistical analyses of integrated large OMIC studies are useful and sometimes necessary for generating biological process level hypotheses of stress mechanisms, especially when linked to readouts at the phenotypic level. Particularly, integration of multiple levels of biological organisation and advanced computational biology approaches have allowed us to improve our biological knowledge and thereby generate more precise mechanistic hypotheses. In this session we focus on real case examples, both field and laboratory, where OMIC technologies have been applied in all types of toxicological studies. We invite presentations which demonstrate the application of OMICs technology as means of gaining a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms behind adverse effects of chemicals and natural stressors, case studies that highlight the integration of OMIC technologies in risk assessment approaches and well-validated ring trials and methodologically innovative studies on single OMICs, integration of multiple OMICs datasets (multiomics) and studies that integrate experimental datasets with computational models (e.g. quantitative adverse outcome pathways – qAOPs). Presenters will be selected to capture a range of OMIC approaches, and may include OMICs-based predictions of apical endpoints, cross-species extrapolations, transgenerational studies , integrating OMICs and traditional end-points, the application of OMICS in supporting Adverse Outcome Pathways, biomonitoring, exposure biomarker development, chemical risk assessment and non-invasive OMICs applications.
1.14 - Epigenetic and evolutionary toxicology: from mechanisms to risk assessment
Co-chairs: Benjamin Pina, Jana Asselman, Marie-Agnes Coutellec
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. (Poster) & 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. (Poster corner) | Exhibition hall
Scientific evidence is indicating that environmental pollutants, including chemicals, biocides, plant protection products, and pharmaceuticals, may influence organisms beyond exposed generations by affecting the regulation of epigenetic mechanisms and triggering rapid micro-evolutionary processes. Yet, the disruptive potential in environmental toxicology remains to be further characterized, due to limited fundamental knowledge of epigenetic, evolutionary and multigenerational effects in ecotoxicological model organisms. Furthermore, while these effects are increasingly studied and their relevance for toxicological mechanisms generally appreciated, their incorporation in the regulation of chemicals remains limited. Indeed, they present new challenges for risk assessment as their adverse outcomes may occur long after exposure. Such delayed effects can significantly affect future generations, either exposed only during germline development or even not exposed to the initiating stressor at all (inter- and transgenerational effects). Scientific research reporting of multigenerational effects and evidence of trans-generational effects of pollutants is accumulating across a diversity of systems, however, little is known on the natural variation of epigenetic traits defining non-adversity. Furthermore, biological responses may also depend on population standing genetic variation and evolutionary history, and on phylogenetic constraints. It is thus difficult to extrapolate toxicological responses of natural and genetically diverse populations and communities from laboratory assays based on inbred or clonal organism/species. Therefore, it becomes urgent to acquire tools and methods to measure, anticipate, and even predict (epi)genetic and evolutionary ecotoxicological effects, the genetic of adaptation/maladaptation to environmental stress and the adaptive potential of natural populations, as well as to understand their consequences for ecosystems. Further research is needed to address a series of key questions: How can multigenerational effects be assessed at the (epi)genetic level? When can a chemical or a class of chemicals be classified as hazardous by causing significant (epi)genetic or evolutionary effects? Is it possible to develop standard test guidelines to assess such effects? Could effective and cost-efficient screening methods applied to model organisms be used to predict epigenetic and evolutionary effects of chemicals in higher organisms including humans? Answering these questions ideally requires a dialog from the early stages between scientists and stakeholders. This session, proposed by EVOGENERATE (Workgroup of the SETAC ERA IG), will address the development of methods and model systems for the characterization of the (epi)genetic, evolutionary and multigenerational effects, hazard identification, and the integration of epigenetic and evolutionary data in ecological and human health risk assessment.
3.01 - Advances in environmental risk assessment of oil spills and offshore oil & gas operations
Co-chairs: Vince Palace, Gregg Tomy, Graham Whale
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m.- 3:30 p.m. | Room O
Anthropogenic releases of oil into aquatic environments are a global occurrence. As a result, aquatic biota are exposed to oil constituents that exert toxicity through a variety of lethal and sublethal mechanisms. This session will focus on methods that enhance our ability to determine chemical sources, weathering patterns, biological availability and impacts of oil constituents. Emphasis will be on oil behaviour, fate and effects in freshwater and marine environments. Novel approaches to assess sublethal and physiological impacts of oil, and patterns of exposure, will be highlighted.
3.02 - Advances in monitoring and evaluating remedy effectiveness for in situ amendments in soils and sediments
Co-chairs: Gijs D. Breedveld, Amy Oen
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m.- 10:05 a.m. | Room D
In situ remediation and restoration strategies for soil and sediments can be a cost-effective method for removing or minimizing chemical contaminant exposure in the environment. Methods for monitoring these strategies are important in order to document and evaluate the effectiveness of remediation efforts. Although scientific developments have advanced methods to measure chemical fate and environmental exposure, most often these methods are applied in a risk assessment context for mapping, assessing or predicting chemical fate and environmental exposure. Application of these methods to assess the effectiveness of remediation and restoration efforts in a long-term perspective has been given little attention in the literature. The objective of this session is to present and discuss developments in monitoring methods to assess the remedy effectiveness of in situ amendment techniques in both soils and sediments. In situ amendments that have been used to stabilize contaminants include among others; lime, zeolites, phosphate additives, iron oxides, activated carbon as well as biochar. With the exception of activated carbon, the application of these amendments is more prevalent in soil than sediment. Methods that document and verify the potential environmental impacts and improvements following remediation and restoration efforts are therefore important. Contributions are welcome on the application of monitoring methods under field conditions and exposures at case study sites that have undergone remediation using in situ amendments. Specific aspects that are of interest include the selection of short-term and long-term performance indicators (also to document the long-term integrity of amendment addition); the application and assessment of a combination of monitoring methods in a weight-of-evidence approach (interpreting results from chemical, biological and ecological methods); the inclusion of novel monitoring techniques with traditional monitoring methods (overlap of novel and traditional methods in long-term monitoring, for example passive samplers and water monitoring or sediment profile imaging and benthic community sampling); and the deployment of innovative remote monitoring methods and experience with interpretation of online monitoring results.
3.03 - Air Pollution, Biomonitoring and Human Health
Co-chairs: Luisella Ciancarella, Carmela Tortorella, Dominique Courcot
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room O
The chemical and physical characterization of atmospheric secondary pollutants such as particulate matter (PM) and ozone (O3), is one of the targets of the more recent air pollution research both from modelling and monitoring perspectives. O3 and PM are still responsible for the most frequent exceedances of limit and target values of Air Quality Directive (2008/50/EU) in European urban agglomerations. For PM concentrations, ammonia emissions are considered as a major issue of scientific concern, involving agricultural areas as Po Valley in Italy. The characterization of the main pollution sources contributing to the observed/simulated concentrations with the Source-Apportionment methodologies helps to address policies towards the activities emitting the main precursor pollutants. At the same time, the evaluation of air pollution effects on human health and environment still requires integrated approaches to unravel the correlations between air pollutant chemical composition, emission sources and health impacts. In particular, the effects of ultrafine PM is gaining attention since their impact on exposed population is well documented. Therefore, the impact of relevant industrial activities on air quality and the related risk for human health, ecosystems and environment requires to take advantage of monitoring, modelling and toxicological approaches on specific pollutants which serve as tracers of these activities. This session welcome contributions that will address new challenges of air pollution research which take advantage of modelling approaches, source-apportionment techniques and health impacts evaluations, strengthening the combined use of measurements and modelling. At the same time, particular attention will be devoted to contributions dealing with biomonitoring of air pollution for environmental and human health risk assessments.
3.04 - Analysis and Fate of Emerging Contaminants in soils, water and plants under water scarcity
Co-chairs: Damia Barcelo, Yolanda Pico
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room E
Wastewater and sludges (including derived biosolids and/or biochards) accumulate emerging contaminants [human and veterinary pharmaceuticals, personal care products (PCPs), artificial sweeteners, polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs), pesticides, PAH-derivatives, benzotriazoles, benzothiazoles, plasticizers, surfactants, disinfection by products, engineered nanomaterials (ENMs), etc.] that are, sooner or latter, released to the environment. Within the present-day context of global change, increased water scarcity and population growth, wastewater for irrigation and application of biosolids in soils have already became important and, in the near future, will become a pivotal source of nutrients and water all over the world as already are in arid regions, i.e, Mediterranean countries, California, Australia, Saudi Arabia, etc. However, there is still a lack of knowledge on the presence and accumulation of these emerging contaminants from wastewater and sludges into soil and the subsequent uptake by plants that posses some inherent risks when applied to agricultural crops for food production. Specifically, this session puts emphasis on the different sources of emerging contaminants, their incorporation into vegetables through irrigation and their metabolization, accumulation and translocation and linking with the ecological effects they produced by reacting in the environment during various applications of wastewater and biosolids in soils under the ongoing risk of water scarcity. We particular welcome contributions within the following areas: i) development of new rapid analytical methods covering the widest possible range of emerging contaminants and their transformation products and/or metabolites, ii) application of high resolution mass spectrometry to address significant challenges associated with the transformation and metabolism of emerging contaminants within the plant. ii)deep understanding on their inherent properties (partitioning behavior, degradation pathways, bioaccumulation behavior), accumulation mechanism (environmental and tissue transfer and distribution) and toxic effects, iii) improved understanding of their sources and occurrence, fate and transport processes, and associated risks and v) risk management. Ultimately, the session aims at center attention on the understanding of the current approaches, identify existing knowledge gaps, outlining new doors open for continued research and providing prospects for future scrutiny to ensure sustainability of these practices that will palliated severe water scarcity.
3.05 - Bioavailability and realistic risk assessment of organic chemicals
Co-chairs: John Parsons, Jose-Julio Ortega-Calvo, Joop Harmsen, Steven Droge
May 14, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room B
The bioavailability of potentially hazardous organic chemicals (persistent organic pollutants or POPs, pesticides, biocides, pharmaceuticals and others) in soil and sediment is an important area of scientific research. However, this area remains only partially recognized by regulators and industries working in the environmental sector. Based on the positive experiences from the previous implementation with metals, regulators have recently started to include bioavailability within retrospective risk assessment and remediation frameworks for organic chemicals. In this regard, realistic decision-making in terms of hazard definition and priority considerations that result in optimised cost allocation while ensuring the protection of the environment and public health can be achieved, rather than relying on the established approach of using total-extractable concentrations, that is shown to be non-effective. Moreover, by addressing bioavailability reductions instead of only pollutant removals as a paradigm shift, new remediation strategies become possible. However, the implementation of bioavailability in risk assessment remains difficult because scientific developments on bioavailability do not always translate into practical approaches for regulators and thus need specific measures. Furthermore, most bioavailability approaches currently used for organics are focused on hydrophobic chemicals, whereas emerging pollutants nowadays are typically of a non-hydrophobic structure and subsequently their environmental fate and effect profiles are not covered by the commonly used bioavailability models. We thus also need to anticipate to future developments in product design. The main objective of this session is to present and discuss recent scientific developments in this field and to identify and provide scientifically-based methods to consider bioavailability issues during risk assessment, regulation and remediation of sites contaminated with organic chemicals. Contributions are welcome on the different perspectives and interests on bioavailability in soils, sediments or waters: mechanisms controlling bioavailability, in particular for emerging contaminants (including ionic and polar organic compounds); methodological issues (e.g., chemical and biological methods for measuring bioavailability to predict fate and potential effects); implement in risk assessment and risk management; communication needs (message simplification, verification) and bioavailability-oriented remediation strategies (e.g. bioremediation, use of sorbents).
3.06 - Distribution, transformations and biological effects of incidental nanoparticles and nanoplastics in the environment from a more realistic point of view
Co-chairs: Gerardo Pulido-Reyes, Roberto Rosal
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room N
Nanomaterials (incidental nanoparticles and nanoplastics) have turned into ecological and public health problems of great importance due to their massive uses and broad applications. During the last years, considerable research has been performed related to nanomaterials and their possible biological impact on the biota and human health. However, the knowledge of their distribution, transformations and abundance is far from complete and requires further evaluation. The knowledge of the accumulation, sources, sinks and real environmental impacts of nanomaterials is also currently limited. The achieved studies until now are only focused on pristine or manufactured nanomaterials where modifications of the materials or experiments mimicking real scenarios have not been fully assessed. The biological outcome of using transformed nanomaterials (consequence of physicochemical or/and biological reactions) may be completely different in comparison with the use of pristine particles. Amongst nanomaterials, nanoplastic particles represent environmental contaminants of emerging concern due to their low degradation degree and their high persistence in the environment. The growing amount of plastics which are being used in many industrial fields derived from their excellent material properties, such as low weight, easy processing and high stability against various chemical attacks, will also increase their undesirable presence in the environment. Plastic particles are also known to adsorb persistent organic contaminants and a certain percentage of their weight may consist of additives. Thus, plastics might act as sink for organic pollutants or as carrier of organic pollutants into organisms or less polluted environmental systems, exerting a greater impact than expected. It is worth noting that much of the recent concern has been focusing only on microplastics, but almost no data has reported the impact of nanoplastics. There are several routes by which nanomaterials can enter the environment and as a result of their high surface to volume ratio and reactivity, they are prone to suffer alterations, acquiring a new environmental identity derived from such transformations. Plastics may also be transformed under the environmental influences such as physicochemical and biological agents and, as a consequence, weathering, abrasion or disruption of plastics will result in an increasing number of smaller fragments or nanopolymer. Therefore, it is necessary to study the extent and timescale of fragmentation processes under varying environmental conditions. As a summary, the session specially welcomes presentations dealing with: – Knowledge of distribution, transformations and abundance of nanomaterials in the environment – Effect of abiotic and biotic transformations of nanoparticles and nanoplastics on their intrinsic properties and the toxicological effects of transformed nanomaterials. – Effect of co-exposure of nanoparticles or nanoplastics with other classes of pollutants. Nanomaterials may interact/complex with other co-occurring contaminants and be indirectly toxic by enhancing the absorption/bioaccumulation of other pollutants. – Mixture effects of nanomaterials combinations as this is the most plausible scenario in the environment. – Toxicological effects of real plastic particles recovered from the environment instead of using synthetic particles. – Routes of exposure. If accumulation is an issue, the study of food chain transfer is of outmost interest: ecologic assessment using single-food chain as a basic approach and if possible, increasing complexity using mesocosm studies which would help to study the behavior and fate of nanomaterials in a more realistic scenario.
3.07 - Environmental fate of emerging contaminants in the water cycle: analytical challenges and engineered solutions
Co-chairs: Bozo Zonja, Cristina Postigo, Kai Bester, Karin Wiberg
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room D
Technical and imaginative improvements of analytical instrumentation have led to exponential number of reports and studies talking about detection and quantification of a growing number of emerging organic contaminants (EOCs) and their transformation products (TPs) in the aquatic environment. However, this is only a fraction of what will probably be detected in the near future due to a very large number of chemicals in use today (> 100,000). Considering the numerous possibilities for transformation reactions by different biological or abiotic processes, before they end up in finished water, raises the number of potential contaminants to an even more complex reality. The analytical methods of choice in use today are target methodologies, where preselected pollutants considered to be relevant/harmful for the environment are monitored. High-resolution mass spectrometry (HRMS) has historically been used for qualitative analysis, but in recent years an increasing number of validated HRMS targeted methods are marking their way. There is a clear advantage of methods that use HRMS over low resolution MS detectors, since in a single run, it is possible to obtain the information on both target and non-target compounds. Modern screening approaches like suspect or non-target screening seem to be good alternatives to target analysis due to (un)biased focus on a larger scale (with certain limitation in the case of suspect screening to type and number of compounds in the suspect list). However, the main objective in both cases is the characterisation of the sample prior to quantification for which authentic standards are needed. HRMS reveals also as a powerful tool to evaluate the chemical impact and risk that may origin from engineered solutions currently applied to remove pathogens or toxic chemicals from water. Practices, such as drinking water disinfection and advance treatments for wastewater reuse, can lead to the formation of many chemicals that may pose a risk to ecosystems, and eventually human health. Thus, increasing our knowledge on this area is essential to design effective technologies that can contribute to a sustainable environment and human economic development, while at the same time protecting public health. This session intends to gather scientists interested in identification of transformation products of EOCs but also evaluation of the processes and treatments for their degradation and/or removal. Therefore, if your study is highlighted by some of the following keywords, you are welcome to contribute to this session: TPs, LC and GC-HRMS, target-suspect-non-target screening, wastewater treatment plants, sludge, advanced oxidation products, water disinfection, high/low molecular weight disinfection by-products, water reuse, EOCs, and/or bioremediation.
3.08 - Environmental monitoring of contaminants using terrestrial ecological biomonitors
Co-chairs: Sofia Augusto, Nuno Ratola, Mira Aničić Urošević
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room O
During the last decades, the European Union has been implementing policies aiming at controlling and reducing the emission of air contaminants to the environment. Notwithstanding these laws and their implementation, environmental contaminants continue to impact human and wildlife health. Besides unintentionally produced contaminants, hundreds of high production volume chemicals on the market cannot be properly risk assessed due to insufficient real-world bioaccumulation data in registered dossiers. Certain ecological groups, sensitive to contaminants, can be used as sentinels of emerging contaminant problems. This session will welcome all contributions about environmental monitoring of contaminants using terrestrial ecological biomonitors. It will cover a wide range of contaminants, being specifically focused on persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic compounds. Specific topics in this session include but are not limited to: field monitoring and modelling studies to enhance risk assessment, modelling methods to enhance spatial and temporal resolution of data; interpretation of environmental monitoring to assess potential human and wildlife exposure to contaminants; environmental biomonitoring to enforce citizen awareness.
3.09 - New Horizons in Particulate Polymer Analysis: Micro- and Nanoplastics and Tire Rubber Detection, Characterisation and Impacts in the Environment
Co-chairs: Ana I Catarino, Maya Al Sid Cheikh, Farhan Khan
May 14, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room N
Fragmentation of plastics and tire rubber debris, the production of plastic particles (< 5 mm) and their release in the environment are emerging pollutants of concern. Environmental concentrations of microplastics (MPs, 0.001 – 5 mm) and nanoplastics (NPs, < 1 mm) remain largely unknown, primarily due to the analytical challenges of detection. Additional reports have shown micronized (and potentially nanonized) rubber particles, emanating from car tire abrasion and road surface wear, contribute significantly to the “plastic soup” in aquatic environments. Rubber particles are often described with microplastics, but little is known on their particular ecotoxicological impacts. Progress in plastic and rubber particle detection is hampered by a lack of suitable analytical tools required for characterisation and monitoring, as well as adequate and standardised laboratory protocols for analysis and hazard testing. Environmental risk assessment strategies developed for solutes may be inadequate for particles as their fate is governed by kinetic principles of aggregation and transport. Furthermore, the quantitative analysis of plastic and rubber particles are analytically challenging, as carbon-based particles are particularly difficult to detect and differentiate from the matrix. This is especially true at trace concentrations within natural waters, wastewater treatment systems, or biological tissues. The current lack of standardised and validated detection and analysis methods of MPs/NPs/rubber in realistic environmental concentrations are critical knowledge gaps for risk assessment of these particles. This session aims at discussing: 1) promising analytical approaches that identify and characterise these specific particulates in complex environmental and biological matrices; 2) the applicability of these methods in environmental studies, analytical quality assurance, standardisation and harmonisation/inter-laboratory calibration of methodological advances, and 3) different analysis for rubber particles and if they should be considered as a distinct pollutant from MP/NPs.
3.10 - From detection to action: advancements in assessing and managing highly fluorinated compounds
Co-chairs: Xindi Hu, Rainer Lohmann, Jon Benskin
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room E
Past and ongoing production and use of legacy and alternative poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFASs) has been recognized as one of the biggest challenges in chemical management. With the development of advanced chemical analytical methods, hundreds of highly fluorinated compounds have been detected ubiquitously in humans and the environment. However, considerable gaps exist in linking the vast amount of data to actionable strategies for reducing wildlife and human exposures and associated adverse health effects. This is due to the limited understanding of physical-chemical properties of alternative PFASs, relative importance of environmental and human exposure routes, and variable mechanisms of toxicity across compounds and across species. A combination of diverse tools in environmental scientists’ toolbox can be utilized to address some of these challenges. For example, multimedia fate and transport models can be combined with wildlife and human biomonitoring data to elucidate the relative importance of different exposure pathways; chemical compositions of PFAS mixtures and geospatial analytical tools that consider hydrology can be used to identify sources of aquatic pollution. In this session, advances in monitoring and modeling efforts that help to better quantify exposure to PFASs and associated health impacts are encouraged. We welcome contributions from the following areas: 1) Improved characterization of historical releases and temporal trends of legacy and alternative PFASs, 2) Quantification of the environmental impact from PFAS pollution in multiple geographical scales including local, national, regional and global, 3) Properties and behavior of alternative PFASs. By integrating up-to-date knowledge, highlighting state-of-the-art research tools, and identifying critical gaps for decision-making, this session aims at advancing efforts to reduce ubiquitous exposure to PFASs, avoiding regrettable substitution and reducing risks to public health.
3.11 - Hydrophobic Chemicals and Mixtures: Reliable Investigations on their Environmental Fate and Effects
Co-chairs: Philipp Mayer, Felix Stibany, Josh Butler
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room B
Hydrophobic organic chemicals with low aqueous solubility are used in a broad range of applications from personal care products to heavy industry. The hydrophobicity of these compounds leads to low water solubilities but also to high partitioning into biological membranes and consequently toxicity at low aqueous concentrations. Mixtures of hydrophobic organic chemicals include a wide range of petroleum products, essential oils, and isotopic mixtures of industrial chemicals. An increasing number of such mixtures are categorized as “Chemical Substances of Unknown or Variable Composition, Complex Reaction Products and Biological Materials (UVCB substance)”. Investigating the environmental fate and toxicity of hydrophobic organic chemicals and their mixtures is associated with challenges on the conceptual, technical and analytical level. Their high hydrophobicity results in extensive sorption to soils, sediments and the various fractions of organisms and biological media. Therefore, standard tests for determining their partitioning, solubility, toxicity, bioaccumulation and (bio)degradation that follow (inter)national guidelines are often not well suited for these chemicals. For instance, it can be challenging to provide defined and constant exposure concentrations in toxicity experiments and to analytically confirm the available exposure. It can also be challenging to measure the exposure concentrations in the environment or to conduct laboratory fate studies at environmentally realistic low concentrations. The lack of consistent and reliable results due to such difficulties can lead to improper assessment of their environmental risks. A lot of progress has been made over the last 3 decades for the assessment of single hydrophobic chemicals within the moderate Log KOW range of 3-6. However, it remains very challenging to assess and test (1) chemicals that are hydrophobic and at the same time volatile, (2) chemicals with very high hydrophobicity (Log Kow > 6) and (3) UVCBs composed of hydrophobic and/or volatile chemicals. Additionally, there are ongoing discussions about the presence of a general aqueous toxicity threshold (i.e., no toxicity below a certain concentration) or a general hydrophobicity toxicity cut-off (i.e., no toxicity above a certain Log KOW). Reliable toxicity data in the high Log KOW range are therefore urgently needed to clarify this issue, which in turn requires improved testing methods. Bioconcentration kinetic models and thermodynamic concepts are also needed for setting and challenging such cut-offs. Questions that will be addressed include but are not limited to: What are adequate methods for a reliable assessment of fate and effects of highly hydrophobic chemicals? What are adequate methods for chemicals that besides the hydrophobic property also are volatile or unstable? How to introduce hydrophobic UVCBs into aqueous test media and how to measure their concentrations? How can the present guidelines be improved to arrive at a more reliable assessment of the fate and effects of highly hydrophobic chemicals? What are the impacts of sorption on the toxicity and biodegradation of (highly) hydrophobic chemicals under realistic conditions? The session is a follow up of a successful session at the SETAC Europe meeting in Brussels in 2017. For the SETAC meeting in Rome in 2018, the scope was extended to a wider range of hydrophobic chemicals and their mixtures.
3.12 - Improvements in environmental exposure assessment: Development and application of tools across industry sectors, regulatory agencies, and international boundaries
Co-chairs: Laura McConnell, Romanas Cesnaitis, Todd Gouin, Rai S. Kookana
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room M
Assessing environmental exposure of chemicals is a challenging, but critical part of performing an environmental risk assessment, and subsequent management of the potential risks. Approaches to assess exposure include the use of monitoring data, often coupled with models, for chemicals that are in current use, or for chemicals not yet on the market. From a regulatory perspective, environmental multimedia fate models play an important role in estimating exposure, however, many of the models have been parameterized based on a relatively narrow group of organic chemicals, specifically those characterized as neutral organics, with limited refinements being made to the current tools. Nonetheless, over the last several years there have been many notable scientific developments in exposure science that have highlighted the importance of bioavailability and the use of internal concentrations as potentially robust exposure metric for risk assessment purposes, as opposed to reliance on total external concentrations. Furthermore, there has been increasing awareness regarding the environmental fate and subsequent exposure to a wide range of pollutants for which current regulatory instruments are not well-suited to address, such as ionisable organics, organometallics, polymers, nanomaterials, and nanopesticides. A confounding factor within the regulatory environment is that methods for assessing exposure can vary between regulatory bodies. For instance, in Europe, differences in estimating exposure vary between general chemicals, regulated under REACH, plant protection products (PPP), as defined by the PPP regulation ((EC) No 1107/2009), and pharmaceuticals, regulated by the European Medicines Agency. Globally, differences in exposure assessment can be even more challenging to address. Ultimately, all regulatory bodies share a common goal, which is to ensure that exposure assessment is conducted in a manner that is transparent, robust, and takes into consideration the latest advances in scientific developments, while at the same time provides a reasonable level of conservativism, necessary to account for associated uncertainties and natural variance in the environment that might influence the reliability of exposure estimates. In this session, we wish to highlight the important advancements made in addressing the environmental exposure of various types of chemicals, including pollutants, with an aim of initiating and fostering international collaboration that brings together exposure modellers and analytical chemists at the forefront of developing and/or improving tools for those chemicals and concepts poorly addressed under current methods. Areas of interest for this session would be those studies aimed at exploring opportunities for the development of harmonized approaches for assessing exposure between different industry sector groups and national, regional, and global regulatory agencies. To this end, studies aimed at novel methods used towards improving estimates of emissions; developments in the handling of polar, ionized, and other chemicals with properties outside the applicability domain of existing exposure models and experimental test systems, either as screening-level or high-tiered tools; the application of tools to address toxicity due to environmental exposure to chemicals associated with the global movement of hazardous wastes, such as electronic waste, and pollutants of emerging concern, such as nanomaterials and nanopesticides, are especially welcome.
3.13 - Innovative techniques for enhancing and monitoring microbial activities for in situ remediation of contaminated sites
Co-chairs: Andrea Franzetti, Luca Alberti, Anna Barra Caracciolo, Paola Grenni
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room B
Due to accidental spills of contaminants such as hydrocarbons and chlorinated solvents can contaminate soil and water, raising concern because they are recalcitrant, toxic for human health and relatively mobile in water. In situ remediation techniques represent an economically and environmentally sustainable strategy to reduce the contamination and the exposition of biological targets to these pollutants. This holds particularly true for groundwater remediation where the “pump and treat” option is often technically and economically unfeasible. In situ remediation relies on a detailed knowledge of the chemico-physical and biological processes affecting the fate of the pollutants and on the possibility of efficiently overcoming the limiting factors inhibiting the natural biodegradative potential of the autochthonous microorganisms. For these reasons the development of new tools and technologies to in situ monitor and enhance microbial activity is crucial for widening the application of in situ remediation of contaminated sites. This session wants to gather scientists of different disciplines (hydrogeologist, biologists, chemists and ecotoxicologists) interested in sharing their latest developments in this field. A non-exhaustive list of topics of this session is the following: i) application of Compound Specific Isotope Analysis, ii) modelling biodegradation in groundwater plume, iii) innovative geognostic tools for plume characterization, iv) innovative in situ biological techniques for the remediation of contaminated sediments and groundwater, v) innovative tools for di site assessment e monitoring pollutants dynamics, vi) new bioavailability-enhancing strategies involving plants, (bio)surfactants and chemotaxis.
3.14 - Mercury Biogeosciences - Fate, Effects and Policy
Co-chairs: Michael S Bank, Séverine Le Faucheur, Nelson J O’Driscoll, Joao Canario
May 14, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room A
Widespread mercury (Hg) deposition and contamination is well documented and remains an environmental and public health concern in both developed and low and middle income countries. Documentation of the pervasiveness of this contaminant is a first step toward understanding the potential environmental health and ecological implications of Hg pollution and will be critical to the success of the newly established United Nations Minamata Convention on Mercury. Additionally, a better understanding of the mechanisms and controlling parameters related to aquatic and terrestrial biogeochemistry fate, transport, and bioavailability of Hg in different ecosystem types is urgently required to support long-term monitoring programs, notably in the context of global change (e.g., climate variability, ocean acidification, changing fisheries). In this context, SETACs global metals interest group is particularly looking to promote advances in Hg isotope chemistry and speciation techniques, source apportionment models, environmental risk assessment protocols, and development of appropriate environmental quality standards. Contributions on all aspects of Hg research are welcome including case studies, global (or large-scale) assessments/inventories of Hg emissions, fundamental studies dealing with the biogeochemistry (including analytical aspects), ecotoxicology of Hg, and regulatory issues. We will also invite presentations from technical leads who are actively involved with the 2018 UN Global Mercury Assessment report.
3.15 - Microplastics in freshwater and terrestrial systems - fate, monitoring and biological interactions
Co-chairs: Ana Marta Gonçalves, Nelson Abrantes, Alice A. Horton, Claus Svendsen
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room N
The accumulation of plastics in aquatic and terrestrial systems constitutes an emerging scientific and societal issue due to their ubiquity, high persistence and inadequate management. Microplastics(< 5 mm), a group of particles differing in physico-chemical properties (e.g. size, shape, colour, density and polymer type), are of particular concern as they can derive from a variety of sources and can accumulate to reach high concentrations within the environment. As a modern, populous society, we rely heavily on the preservation of these environments as resources for both agriculture and drinking water. Accumulation is especially likely within the continental environment due to the proximity to areas where (micro)plastics are manufactured and used, with direct inputs from point sources. The factors influencing fate, behaviour and effects of particles are complex and can rely on a combination of environmental and biological interactions.The form in which plastics enter the environment will have a significant influence on their behavior. Physical, chemical and biological degradation will lead to the creation of microplastics from larger plastic items, in addition to microplastics input directly via sewage and runoff. Organisms have been shown to interact with, and ingest, microplastics leading to bioaccumulation and potentially hazardous consequences for survival, metabolism, growth and reproduction. The majority of studies to date have considered toxicological effects under laboratory conditions. However in order to understand the hazards posed by microplastics as an environmental contaminant, it is important that we consider how the processes governing microplastic input, behavior, accumulation and fate will affect ecological interactions and the potential for harm within the environment. This requires a concerted research effort with the need for field surveys, experimental studies on fate and behavior, and transport models. This will allow us to determine realistic exposure scenarios for organisms and inform future testing. Going forwards, it will be important to link the concentrations and dominant types of microplastics observed within the environment to the potential for retention, transformation and ecological effects, in addition to human exposure and effects. This session is open to all contributions (oral/poster) focused on the fate, monitoring and effects of microplastics in freshwater and terrestrialsystems.
3.16 - Modelling and monitoring of pesticides fate and exposure in a regulatory context
Co-chairs: Bernhard Gottesbueren, Laura Padovani, Giovanna Azimonti
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room A
Modelling and monitoring of fate and exposure of pesticides (incl. biocides) in the regulatory context is under continuous development in Europe as well as other regions of the world. Development of new models or the adjustment of existing models like changes in parameterization or scenarios are necessary due to new scientific knowledge and aim to a more reliable risk assessment for regulatory decision making regarding the protection of the environment whilst significant uncertainties remain. Monitoring campaigns of chemicals and metabolites are initiated to evaluate chemical status in different environmental compartments, whereas the questions on the regulatory context and implications of findings remain. The session will a) focus on the outcomes of recent developments on fate modelling under different regulations like new guidance documents, requirements and model developments. For example new guidance documents and scientific opinions on exposure assessment in soil, groundwater and surface water of pesticides have being developed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). These shall be presented to and discussed by stakeholders from academia, regulatory authorities, industry and consultancy. For biocides, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) have the role of coordinating the European peer review process and have an increasingly important role in the associated development of risk assessments and emission scenarios documents in this area. New model or scenario developments shall be presented considering the spatial and temporal variability of the exposure and fate of pesticides in different environmental compartments. b) look at other regions of the world environmental risk assessment schemes, including modelling and their current developments and/or revisions (for pesticides e.g. in China, Latin America). A global exchange on exposure assessment principles (including modelling and scenario development) is warranted and it is the intention to bring together the latest developments in the regions of the world for different use classes of chemicals. c) provide a platform to discuss and exchange monitoring programs and results in the light of regulatory use. Modelling results shall be compared to monitoring data in order to allow an evaluation of their conceptual basis in relation to protection goals, which quite often may only be implicit in the underlying legislation. The regulatory use of fate models and scenarios for pesticides shall be discussed in the light of targeted experiments or representativeness analysis as well as survey monitoring results. The suitability of generic regulatory exposure scenarios and the development of tailor made scenarios shall be discussed alongside rules for their evaluation in a regulatory framework. As the scope of this session covers various chemical use classes, it is intended to focus the contributions in subsections, which are specific enough to attract the specialists but are linked and associated to foster the exchange between different scientific and regulatory communities.
3.17 - Persistence & Biodegradation Assessment
Co-chairs: Graham Whale, Gerald Thouand, Jacques Lharidon, Arnaud Boivin
May 15, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room B
The current regulatory evaluation of environmental risk and hazards posed by chemicals is undertaken by an assessment of their intrinsic properties; notably their ability to persist (P), bioaccumulate (B) and exert toxicity (T). Recently there has been more emphasis on their ability to persist with focus on persistence combined with bioaccumulation potential (PB and vPvB) and persistence combined with mobility and mobility plus toxicity (both ecological and mammalian); so called PM and PMT chemicals. As such there is a clear need to improve our understanding of what factors affect persistence. For organic chemicals persistence is typically assessed by their potential to biodegrade in the environment For example, assessing biodegradation [as “the biologically mediated degradation or transformation of chemicals usually carried out by microorganisms” (ECHA, 2012)] is among the first steps to evaluate chemicals persistence. Biodegradation is a natural but still poorly understood process which outcome strongly depends on the various environmental conditions and the microbial diversity. This situation needs to be rectified considering the emphasis being placed on persistence properties. The session is proposed to identify how existing test methods can be improved and how new approaches can be used to provide weight of evidence regarding the potential persistence of chemicals in the environment. The latest developments in the area should be explored given the recent advances in the characterization of the microbial diversity, chemical analysis and even ability to dose and measure biodegradation and more realistic environmentally relevant concentrations. The session will not only address the status of the science but encourage identification of where there is need for further research in this area (e.g. the assessment of complex mixtures) and explore how these can improve the assessment of the persistence properties of chemicals from both a societal and regulatory perspective.
3.18 - The environment as a reactor determining fate and toxicity of nanomaterials
Co-chairs: Susana Loureiro, C.A.M. van Gestel, Iseult Lynch, Claus Svendsen
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room N
Nanomaterials may enter the environment through a variety of processes, including, for instance, direct application or release, runoff from (agricultural) fields to aquatic systems, recreational activities, and waste water treatment effluent and sludge. During the processes of application, release from use/aging, waste treatment and release, but also once in the environment, nanomaterials undergo chemical, physical and biologically-driven changes. As a consequence, the nanomaterials are likely to reach biological targets in complex and as-yet unpredictable forms. When in contact with organisms, it is likely that different available forms will have different uptake rates and that the structure of nanomaterials that are taken up may change further during biological processing. It is crucial to understand the processes of nanomaterial transformation and how, and to what extent, the environment acts as a global reactor, with several small-scaled reactors at the individual compartment / organism level. This will affect the environmental fate and speciation of nanomaterials and the complexity of the forms relevant for environmental hazard and risk assessment. This could mean dealing with multiple forms from one product, but where “reactor processes” transform numerous materials in similar ways or to similar exposure relevant environmental forms may equally provide the potential for grouping (based on transformation chemistry). This session aims to cover studies on processes that induce changes in nanomaterials right from their release from products to their biological uptake and handling. Thus, aiming to look at several potential “reactors” including waste water treatment plants, environmental compartments, abiotic and biotic key-actors, soil and aquatic microbiomes, plants, invertebrates and vertebrates. Emphasis will be on chemical and biological processes that change nanomaterials and consequently affect their fate and environmental speciation as they will be crucial to obtain insight into exposure and toxicity to organisms. The concept of the eco-corona will be a key-aspect in understanding how the formation of a biomolecule corona will change the properties of nanomaterials and consequently the way they interact with organisms. Toxicokinetic and toxicodynamic modelling will provide a crucial input on the way biota act as a bio-reactor that can also induce speciation changes or store nanomaterials in an inert form. Studies linking aspects of nanomaterial exposure, uptake, internal processing and effects will be especially welcomed, as well as those focused on approaches for assessing or predicting nanomaterials transformations under different conditions.
3.19 - Understanding human and environmental exposure to chemicals in urban systems
Co-chairs: Todd Gouin, Miriam L. Diamond, Antonia Praetorius, Alistair Boxall
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room M
Urban systems (including indoor and outdoor environments) represent emission hot-spots for chemical pollutants to the surrounding environment, resulting in a potential risk to both human and ecosystem health. These systems are however highly complex with large variations occurring in chemical exposure in time and space. Current exposure modelling approaches may not address this complexity. Our knowledge of the many underlying processes (e.g. indoor chemical fate processes) affecting exposure is also poorly developed. In this session, we aim to bring together researchers from a wide range of disciplines to explore the state-of-the-art around chemical exposure assessment in urban systems and to discuss priorities for future research in the area. Presentations are encouraged on a wide range of topics including: 1) modelling approaches to assess chemical exposure in indoor and outdoor urban systems; 2) environmental fate and/or transport process studies in indoor and outdoor urban environments; 3) use of novel monitoring approaches (e.g. distributed sensor networks, citizen science) for chemicals in urban systems; 4) approaches to assess risks of chemicals to humans and ecosystems in urban environments.
4.01 - (Eco)toxicity tests for hazard evaluation of recycling materials and waste
Co-chairs: Reinhilde Weltens, Jörg Römbke
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m.| Exhibition hall (Poster session)
Safe and durable management of waste and materials for recycling requires practical tools for hazard (and risk) assessment at all stages of the life cycle. In cases where only a few well known chemicals are involved, the hazard assessment can be based on the composition and known toxicity and behaviour of these chemicals. In most cases however the materials intended for recycling and waste materials are often very complex as they are composed of many different substances, and through different processes might have even changed. Evaluating their intrinsic hazardous properties based solely on chemical data is simply not possible. Biotests provide an important complementary instrument for the hazard assessment of these complex materials. A lot of initiatives in different countries have already shown how biotests for both solid and eluate fractions can indeed be used, in combination with relevant sampling and sample preparation techniques for waste and recycling materials. Biotests for both solid and eluate fractions are used. Test strategies have been proposed and suggestions have been made on how to develop maximum tolerable toxicity limits. In this session, we invite contributions that demonstrate the use of biotests and sample preparation techniques for these purposes, propose possible test strategies and protocols for the hazard assessment of(waste) materials. Of specific interest are scientific based decision support systems and proposals on how to provide limit values for (eco)toxicity.
4.02 - Advances in Soil Ecotoxicology and Risk Assessment of Terrestrial Ecosystems
Co-chairs: Mark Maboeta, Bjorn Scholz-Starke, Heidi Cunningham, Silvia Pieper
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room B
Soil is a precious and finite resource, providing a diverse ecological habitat to plants and in-soil macro- and micro-organisms, as well as a rich and fertile basis for agriculture. Soil as a resource however, is under increasing pressure from climatic and anthropogenic impacts (e.g. agricultural practices, chemical stressors). We ask the question whether current test methods and practices offer sufficient protection in support of the sustainable delivery of soil ecosystem services. The field of soil ecotoxicology has produced a series of standardized test methods, used in environmental risk assessments which are increasingly employed as regulatory guideline studies. One example is the recently published EFSA opinion on the state of the science for the risk assessment of in-soil organisms , which paves the way to a revision of the current European guidance. However, it is not clear whether available standardized test methods are adequate to: – capture the intended metrics (e.g., population or community level, species diversity of soil microorganisms and functional aspects) – address how soil properties influence bioavailability and toxicity – reflect the ultimate protection goals – allow the integration of semi-field and field studies. We welcome abstracts that demonstrate the successful integration of data generated by new (e.g., metagenomics) as well as standardized test methods into ecological risk assessment for emerging or legacy substances. We would like to showcase new developments within soil ecotoxicology; advancements in our understanding of exposure (bioavailability) in risk characterization; relevant measures of biodiversity (long-term impacts vs community recovery); and examine the drivers of ecosystem services relevant to soil protection. This session will aim to review the evolving field of soil ecotoxicology and broaden the view to approaches at all scales of terrestrial ecosystems risk assessments. We aim to facilitate discussions among soil toxicologists, environmental chemists, risk assessors, regulators, and citizen groups of what appropriate strategies for effective soil protection are, how to perform targeted higher tier testing, and how interdisciplinary approaches can be linked.  EFSA Journal 2017;15(2):4690. Scientific Opinion addressing the state of the science on risk assessment of plant protection products for in-soil organisms. https://www.efsa.europa.eu/sites/default/files/consultation/160503.pdf
4.03 - Antibiotics and Antibiotic Resistance in the Environment: Fate and Ecological Effects, Resistance Development and Implications for Human Health
Co-chairs: Edward Topp, Jason Snape, Kristian Koefoed Brandt
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room M
This session will focus on the fate, ecotoxicological effects of antibiotics, co-selective agents, antibiotic resistance (AR) development and transfer in the environment and its implications for human health. Specifically, we use the term antibiotic to include antibacterial pharmaceuticals. The scope of the session also extends to other chemical agents that can co-select for antibiotic resistance, for example certain metals and biocides. Topics will be grouped in the following four areas: 1) The ecological effects of human and veterinary antibiotics including impacts on natural microbial community structure and function in terrestrial and aquatic systems. 2) The role of antibiotic residues in the environment on the selection and persistence of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and/or AR genes. 3) The dissemination and routes of transmission of AR to the environment, and implications of exposure to environmental AR for human health risk assessment. 4) The fate of antibiotics and AR in wastewater treatment and the environment; including monitoring programmes, and removal and risk management strategies. We would anticipate abstracts that address aspects related to the following questions: Do human and veterinary antibiotics at environmentally relevant concentrations cause adverse effects on aquatic or terrestrial organisms or impact/ support ecosystem services provided by microbial communities? Are particular environments and/or mixtures of antibiotics, metals, and pollutants of special concern? Do human and veterinary antibiotics at environmentally relevant concentrations select for resistant microorganisms or mobile genetic elements associated with AR? What are the pathways of transfer of antibiotic resistant microorganisms and/or AR genes to the human population? What are the environmental conditions that promote the transfer of AR? Are there threshold concentrations of antibiotic agents that promote AR transfer? To what extent does resistance selection, gene acquisition and dissemination of resistant microorganisms increase with increased exposure to antibiotics or mixtures of antibiotics? What is the frequency and rate of transfer of AR genes between environmental and pathogenic bacteria and can an appropriate risk assessment framework be developed? Does waste water treatment enrich for AR and what wastewater treatment strategies and other management options could be used to reduce the resistance load in the environment? Is AR enriched for during manure storage, and what pre-application treatment strategies could be used to reduce the resistance loading to the environment? When new antimicrobial drugs are brought to market should an environmental assessment be conducted to identify the pre-existing environmental resistance reservoir? Should pharmacovigilance studies to assess the proliferation of resistance in clinically important pathogens be extended to include environmental compartments?
4.04 - Developments in the ecological and human health risk assessment of biopesticides: microorganisms, semiochemicals and botanicals
Co-chairs: Elizabeth Collison, Jacobijn van Etten, Alison Hamer
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster session) | May 15, 2018, 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster corner)
In recent years the crop protection industry has seen a shift from synthetic chemical pesticides to the development of ‘biological pesticides’, otherwise known as biopesticides. These biopesticides contain active substances derived from naturally occurring organisms or compounds, which may include microorganisms (such as bacteria, fungi and viruses), semiochemicals (allelochemicals and pheromones) and botanicals (plant extracts). Most regulatory schemes for the placing of plant protection products on the market were established based on synthetic chemicals. However, the hazards arising from the use of biopesticides are not necessarily of the same nature as synthetic chemicals and these differences should be taken into account in the assessment of ecological and human health risks. For example, microorganisms are unlikely to be toxic in themselves but they may produce toxic metabolites or have the potential to replicate in the environment with the ability to cause infection or pathogenicity. Whilst guidance is available in relation to the risk assessment of specific biopesticide groups, the current data requirements are often difficult to interpret or limited to vague criteria of assessment, with a scarcity of EU test guidelines for the conduct of studies to address the data requirements. Much effort and dialogue is ongoing within several stakeholder initiatives and working groups to further develop relevant guidance. This session aims to bring together scientists and regulators from across industry, academia and government to discuss the ongoing challenges in the risk assessment of biopesticides, as well as advances in tools to address these challenges. The session welcomes presentations aiming to enhance general understanding of both the science and regulatory context of biopesticides, to highlight innovative testing strategies and novel case studies and to showcase collaborations between scientific disciplines. Topics are encouraged across ecotoxicology and environmental fate and behaviour, as well as human health risk assessment.
4.05 - Environmental risk assessment in time and space - new approaches to deal with ecological complexity
Co-chairs: Alessio Ippolito, Thomas Preuss, Domenica Auteri, Ivo Roessink
May 14, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room M
Current lower-tier environmental risk assessment procedures are largely based on rather simple conceptual models, relying to a great extent on generic estimation of chemical toxicity via laboratory testing under constant exposure conditions, as well as standardised exposure assessments with a limited variability over space and time. Nevertheless, natural ecosystems are characterised by a high spatial and temporal variability. Most ecological as well as chemical processes cannot be interpreted without considering landscape scale properties, where dynamics may be substantially different to those happening within standardized test settings; hence to assess the actual persistence and occurrence of ecological effects of toxicants the assessment should focus on more appropriate spatial and temporal scales. In recent years, a more systematised knowledge of many environmental variables has become accessible to the risk assessors (e.g. spatial-temporal variability of biotic and abiotic parameters, species distribution, species-specific autoecological data, etc.). Nevertheless, a proper strategy for the use of this information within the risk assessment scheme is still under development. For example, for the most common higher-tier experiments (e.g. toxicity testing under variable exposure, mesocosms, semi-field and field trials, etc.) the representativeness at EU level of a specific environmental scenario in a study is a point of concern, as effect manifestation and recovery are dynamic processes which depend also on the local situation. In this perspective, existing modelling approaches for effects (e.g. TK-TD, food web, population, and spatially-explicit meta-population models) as well as for exposure estimation (e.g. FOCUS models and scenarios) can be regarded as potentially powerful tools to identify the most influential factors, and their integrated use may allow an extrapolation of experimental results beyond the conditions of single experimental setting. The scope of this session is to explore and discuss with researchers and risk assessors how to move towards an environmental risk assessment which aims at better understanding the ecological complexity by using landscape and ecological data and by integrating exposure and effect modelling with higher tier experiments. This session is inviting especially presentations of case studies which demonstrate how to link experimental results to a realistic risk assessment taking into account the heterogeneity in time and/or space, e.g. construct risk maps to define vulnerable scenarios; link exposure over time to effects on individual and (meta)population level in realistic landscapes.
4.06 - Developments in the use of bioassays for chemical and environmental risk assessment
Co-chairs: Ron van der Oost, Jonny Beyer, Michelle Rau Embry
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room D
Regular monitoring of the chemical water quality is performed by chemically analysing a limited amount of target compounds. Usually, only a small fraction of the total effects observed on biological tests (bioassays) could be explained by the identified compounds. It is clear that a more holistic measurement of micropollutants may substantially change the outcome of the water quality assessment. In recent years, many monitoring initiatives have been undertaken in which more ecologically relevant bioanalytical techniques were used for toxicity profiling, such as the Joint Danube Survey (ICPR), the Ecological Key Factor Toxicity project (STOWA), the TIPTOP project (CEFIC-LRI), and the SOLUTIONS case studies (EU). Toxicity profiling has the advantage that it directly reflects the toxicity of the complex mixture present in the sample, including unknown substances, transformation products, and compounds present at levels below their analytical limit of detection. The scope of the session also includes methods to assure transfer of complex mixtures into bioassays such a passive sampling and passive dosing techniques. The first session is focussed on expanding the utility of in vitro bioassay data as a chemical risk assessment tool, by improving the quantification of exposure. It is widely understood that in toxicological studies the freely dissolved concentration or the internal concentration is considered a more relevant parameter, concerning toxic effects, than the nominal concentration that is used most frequently. Specifically, losses due to volatilization and/or sorption to media within the assay, as well as metabolic and abiotic transformation of the parent chemical can strongly influence the actual dissolved concentration used to relate observations of an effect. This session aims to communicate advances towards better characterization of exposure of both the parent and degradation products in relation to a toxicological response. In the second session, results will be presented from toxicity profiling studies applying in vivo and/or in vitro bioanalytical methods in different environmental matrices. Since routine monitoring with bioassays is still hampered by the difficulty to extrapolate effects in bioassays to reliable risk estimates, this session will focus on different strategies to apply toxicity profiles for environmental risk assessment. Contributions address the derivation, application and validation of effect-based trigger values (EBT) and the added value or cost-effectiveness of effect-based monitoring strategies for environmental quality assessment, when compared to traditional chemical monitoring.
4.07 - Natural toxins and harmful algal blooms (HABs): water and food safety, analysis, toxicity, and risks
Co-chairs: Gemma Giménez Papiol, Hans Christian B. Hansen, Helena Cristina Silva de Assis, Thomas Bucheli
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room O
Natural toxins from plants, algae and microorganisms comprise a large chemically diverse group of emerging contaminants – often produced in appreciable quantities, with some being very toxic. While natural toxins are known as food and feed poisons, the knowledge on natural toxins in the environment and as water contaminants is in its infancy. Many natural toxins are more water soluble than most xenobiotics and hence are mobile, increasing the risk of leaching from terrestrial sources to surface and groundwaters. One of the best described sources of natural toxins in freshwater and marine systems are Harmful Algal Blooms (HABs), often accompanied with negative health, ecological or economic impacts. Water contamination by natural toxins including HABs have become a recurrent, increasing and widespread issue globally, with increasing concerns for public health, environmental risks and safety of water supply, as studies on toxin properties, production, distribution, fate and toxicity including effects of climate gradients and species diversity increase. Natural toxins may add to toxic profiles of water bodies that cannot be explained by xenobiotics alone. Gene-modified plants producing their own “pesticides”, which are in fact natural toxins, may add to the timeliness of the natural toxin issue. Studies have shown that several algal toxins can cause genotoxic effects, cellular damage and oxidative stress in fish tissues and can accumulate in muscles, which gives the possibility of human exposure to these toxins through consumption of contaminated fish. Environmental change is one of the main drivers of proliferation and geographic distribution of toxin-producing algae, bacteria and plants; the assessment of their impact on aquatic ecosystems and water quality requires a multidisciplinary approach. In Mediterranean countries and other areas facing permanent or periodical water shortage, the knowledge on the occurrence and distribution of cyanotoxins in waterbodies becomes necessary. The management of natural toxins is based on monitoring of the presence of the species producing the toxins, the amount of toxic compounds produced by the species and their spread in ecosystems, exposure to toxins via food and drinking water, and prevention actions to avoid the consumption of contaminated goods or other exposures to the toxins. Natural toxins may be an overlooked part of the current public water quality concept and may call for a concept based on the toxic properties of contaminants rather than merely the concentration of a given contaminant. This session focuses on: 1) Targeted, non-targeted and effect-based analysis of natural toxins in environmental matrices. Development of methods for detection and monitoring of natural toxins and HABs, including advanced methods. 2) Occurrence and distribution of natural toxins and HABs in European waters. 3) Fate and transport of natural toxins and HABs in the environment. 4) Studies on toxic effects, including mixture toxicity, in humans and aquatic organisms, and routes of exposure (food web, recreational activities). 5) Innovative treatment technologies such as advanced oxidation processes, nanofiltration and nanocomposite. 6) Risk assessment, risk management and risk communication of natural toxins and HABs, including development of decision support tools, water safety plans and management practices for their prevention and control, as well as their hazardous impacts.
4.08 - Hazard and exposure assessment of chemical mixtures: steps towards increasing the realism of chemical risk assessment
Co-chairs: Thomas Backhaus, Todd Gouin, Daniel T. Salvito, Rolf Altenburger
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room A
While approaches for the assessment, management and mitigation of the impacts of local pollution from singular events and point sources are largely agreed upon and widely applied on a routine basis, the assessment of diffuse complex pollution scenarios is still a major challenge for science, environmental policy and chemical management. Meeting this challenge will require a move away from a narrow focus on individual pollutants, coarse acute individual or population level end points, the exclusive consideration of single emission sources and exposure routes towards a broader, more holistic approach. Standard instruments for chemical risk assessment and management, such as Environmental Quality Standards (EQS), Predicted No Effect Concentrations (PNECs) and even Acceptable / Tolerable Daily Intakes (ADI / TDI) need to be modernized and embedded into mixture-aware regulatory frameworks. Also, the current strategy for priority setting is too often focused on identifying individual priority pollutants. There is therefore an urgent need to identify “archetypal” mixtures that result from common emission scenarios, in order to develop more realistic priorities for chemical management. The session aims to provide an overview and critical reflection of the current debate, to identify gaps and bottlenecks. On the one hand, the session aims to present and analyze the specific situations in the different regulatory arenas (e.g. REACH, the Biocide and Pesticide Regulations or the Water Framework Directive), using conceptual analyses or evaluations of specific case studies. On the other hand, cross-cutting, conceptual analyses are also highly welcome, especially if they link between human and environmentally oriented assessments. We invite presentations that analyze the issue from the perspective of all the different stakeholders (academia, industry, regulators, NGOs). The session has be successfully run at previous SETAC meetings, always attracting a sizable crowd, indicating that the topic is of particular relevance for the SETAC community – which is hardly surprising, given the fact that even preliminary monitoring data over and over confirm that organisms are typically exposed to a complex mixture of various toxicants from various sources. The session will also provide the opportunity to present and discuss the outcomes of various recent SETAC activities, such as the Pellston workshop on mixtures in Barcelona, as well as the focus topic meeting in Denver in Sept 2017.
Keywords: risk assessment, uncertainties, prioritization, environmental quality targets, chemical management
4.09 - Environmental Risk Assessment in Sediments
Co-chairs: Sebastian Höss, Ute Feiler, Daniel Faber, Paul K. Sibley
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room D
Sediments are a non-renewable resource that provides a habitat for a diverse range of organisms, thereby delivering unique ecosystem services such as important biochemical transformations. There-fore, they play a key role for the ecological status of aquatic ecosystems. On the other hand, sedi-ments represent both, a major sink and a potential source of persistent toxic substances in aquatic environments. Complex biochemical and ecological interactions occurring within sediments require specific assessment tools for protecting benthic organisms and processes for environmental risk assessment. Harmonization and improvement of sediment testing approaches is therefore a major goal for both prospective and retrospective risk assessment. The scientific opinion of the European Food Safety Authority on the environmental risk assessment for sediment organisms (EFSA, 2015)1 is of high interest for risk assessors and aquatic ecotoxicologists, because to date, only the Tier 1 risk assessment for sediment organisms was addressed in the existing aquatic guidance document2. In 2016, the European CHemicals Agency (ECHA) updated the sediment section of the “Guidance on Information Requirements & Chemical Safety Assessment”3. To address the recommendations in these documents, the scientific community initiated research on possible harmonization and improvement of the different sediment test guidelines from OECD, ASTM and US EPA. The main focus was on the use of sediment-spiked toxicity data and sediment-spiked microcosms in a tiered approach and improving the link of exposure to effects in prospective sediment environmental risk assessment (ERA). For retrospective sediment ERA, toxicity criteria are used for decision making such as the acceptability of dredged material relocation within the waters or the need for other disposal options, which may vary considerably in their costs. Therefore, thorough sediment characterization is essential. To sustainably manage sediments, innovative and cost-efficient approaches and solutions are needed, combining chemical, ecotoxicological and ecological tools. At present, weight-of-evidence approaches, such as the sediment quality triad, are widely accepted to assess the ecological risk of sediment-bound contaminants. Besides chemical analysis and in-situ benthic community assessment, toxicity testing with single species represents one line of evidence (LoE) to assess cause-effect relationships. In this session, all presentations that consider the following issues are welcomed: (1) Comparison of the differences between the recommended test guidelines, (2) evaluation of the consistency of the tiered approach in prospective ERA by comparing results of sediment-spiked laboratory toxicity tests with that of higher-tier studies, (3) scientific studies describing the dynamics in bioavailability or ad-dressing the role of different exposure routes, especially if highlighting new test designs or modelling-innovations, (4) retrospective approaches using different lines of evidence helping to assess the risk of chemicals in sediments, including organisms from different organizational and trophic levels (bacteria, protozoa, algae, macrophytes, meio-, and macroinvertebrates). 1″Scientific Opinion on the effect assessment for pesticides on sediment organisms in edge-of-field surface water” EFSA, 2015 2″Guidance on tiered RA for plant protection products for aquatic organisms in edge-of-field surface waters” EFSA, 2013. 3 “Guidance on Information Requirements & Chemical Safety Assessment” ECHA, 2016.
4.10 - Improving the environmental risk assessment of the aquaculture 'Blue Revolution'
Co-chairs: Andreu Rico, Paul van den Brink, Ailbhe Macken, Trevor Cowan Telfer
May 16, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room O
Aquaculture, the production of aquatic animals and plants in marine, brackish and freshwaters, is considered to be the only alternative to supply the increasing global demand of seafood while alleviating the fishing pressure over aquatic ecosystems. During the last few decades, aquaculture production has expanded and intensified all over the world, leading to the now widely used term the ‘Blue Revolution’. As for many other food-producing activities, aquaculture production is subject to a number of environmental challenges, including the release of high loads of organic waste and chemicals (antimicrobials, parasiticides, metals, antifoulants) and the introduction of (exotic) cultured organisms in aquatic ecosystems. Overall, the environmental impacts of aquaculture have been poorly investigated and regulations regarding the risk assessment of contaminants, spatial planning and management, and the impact assessment on biodiversity at suitable spatio-temporal scales need to be improved. At the same time, the issues of chemical contamination to and from the aquaculture industry should also be addressed to improve its sustainable development and the quality of the products intended for human consumption. This session welcomes poster and platform presentations advancing the knowledge and proposing tools to improve the environmental risk assessments of aquaculture production. Particularly, this session calls for: (1) studies aimed at understanding the effects of organic waste and nutrient loading from aquaculture facilities into the environment, including experimental and modelling-based approaches accounting for eutrophication, oxygen depletion and related biodiversity impacts; (2) studies contributing to expand the knowledge on the exposure (e.g. aqueous and sediment) and ecotoxicological effects of antiparasiticides, antifoulants, antibiotics and other potentially toxic substances used in aquaculture production; (3) studies proposing alternatives to improve the regulatory framework for veterinary medicines used in aquaculture and the spatial planning and environmental management of the industry; (4) studies evaluating the ecological consequences of fish escapes from aquaculture facilities; and (5) studies evaluating the bioaccumulation of contaminants in aquaculture organisms and their potential environmental and food safety implications.
4.11 - Improving the Quality of Ecotoxicological Testing and Assessment
Co-chairs: Simon Gutierrez, Lennart Weltje, James R. Wheeler
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m.- 3:30 p.m. | Room B
The science of ecotoxicology is maturing. Over the past 40 years, great efforts have led to the standardization of test methods in many taxa. Individual-based endpoints derived from tests with selected standard species have been used in environmental risk assessment procedures to extrapolate to the protection of populations across all taxa. This has been supported by advances in laboratory methods, analytical chemistry and statistical tools. In addition, exposure and population models have enabled us to test the relevance of these risk scenarios. Collectively, these should help us to develop responsible and innovative research to address current and future needs for improving environmental quality. However, in our desire to progress and process the huge number of evaluations needed we need to pause and check our processes are fit for purpose. This will require aspects of data quality, consistent interpretation and weight of evidence schemes to integrate all information. This must also be a properly calibrated across risk assessment tiers so that our assessments are truly fit for purpose and not under or over protective. We hope this session will discuss these issues and propose ways forward and assist in developing improved ecotoxicological tools to drive future innovation. We seek submissions in the following areas: • Improving the conduct and interpretation of laboratory ecotoxicology tests • Ecological modelling to assess/refine ecological risk assessment • Calibration of the testing and assessment tiers.
4.12 - Biocides and Veterinary Medicines: latest developments in regulatory risk assessment, research and monitoring
Co-chairs: Fabienne Ericher, Jason Weeks, Anja Kehrer, Jaana Laitinen
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room M
This session aims to provide an overview of the state of the art in the regulatory environmental risk assessment (ERA) of biocides and veterinary medicines and latest developments in research and monitoring. Scientists from academia, regulatory bodies and industry are invited to present their experiences with and reflections on the regulatory assessment procedures, their research (effects, fate, exposure, monitoring), and to discuss possible challenges, knowledge gaps or needs for further developments in the regulatory context. As risk assessments aim to ever more closely reflect reality and address practical concerns, added complexity can result, in particular when defined frameworks or guidelines are not yet available. Biocidal products are a good example of this problem, as they are highly varied in their form and use. Over the years, extensive guidelines have been produced to assist with the risk assessments that are an essential part of the registration of these substances in the EU. The variety of uses means that while some products are yet not covered at all by a standardised EU scenario, for others a lower-tier scenario is available and a range of higher-tier approaches may be needed in order to achieve regulatory approval for these products. This results in a wide variety of risk assessment approaches. Currently emerging topics on Biocidal products to be discussed in Rome include new emission scenario design, fate in sewage treatment plants and discussions on how the inclusion of increased realism in risk assessments may be balanced against the already high regulatory workload. Veterinary medicines and their products (VMPs) continuously enter the environment from various sources via often complex pathways. Currently, the fate and assessment of veterinary medicines is based on a prescribed regulatory risk assessment process using OECD guidelines originally developed for pesticides or general chemicals. As the science progresses, there is significant scoop to develop and improve the tools available to further enhance existing guidelines and ensure that they are appropriate for assessing the impacts of veterinary medicines on the environment. Standard models used to predict environmental concentrations (PECs) also require further development. This session will also address all aspects of veterinary medicines in the environment from fate, exposure, and effects but also investigate effective post approval monitoring and developments in other regions of the world.
4.13 - Mechanistic effect modelling for risk assessment: applications, use in a regulatory context and future directions
Co-chairs: Nina Cedergreen, Thomas Preuss, Alpar Barsi
May 14, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room M
Modelling approaches have been utilised in the last years to increase mechanistic understanding of ecotoxicological effects of chemicals at levels of individuals, populations and communities. Besides contributing to scientific progress in the field of ecotoxicology, modelling approaches can overcome some of the limitations of experiment-based effect assessment in environmental risk assessment, namely the restrictions of experiments in time and space, and the practical limitation of experiments to a few exposure or environmental scenarios. The number of effect modelling studies in the context of terrestrial or aquatic environmental risk assessment of non-target organisms is increasing, and standards for design, documentation and testing have improved considerably in the last years. Nevertheless, the development of ecological models, of scenarios for their application and of quality standards are still ongoing. Not at least, ecological models still have to increase the evidence of giving a representative picture of likely effects under environmentally relevant conditions. Examples for the application of ecological models, including TK-TD models for lethal and sublethal effects, population modelling studies and landscape scale models are urgently required for the development of a common understanding and of quality criteria for the use of such models in regulatory risk assessment. Here, we invite studies to showcase state-of-art in effect modelling, and applications of effect modelling that enhance the mechanistic understanding of ecotoxicological effects at different levels of biological organisation. Also applications of ecological modelling for risk assessments with special focus on scenario development, as well as studies outlining how model design and scenario development can be integrated are welcome. Contributions that consider the relevance and representativeness of ecological modelling results (model validation) are also highly welcome.
4.14 - Prioritisation and Intelligent Testing of Pharmaceuticals in the Environment
Co-chairs: Beate Escher, Ines Rönnefahrt, Anja Coors, Rik Oldenkamp
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m – 12:25 p.m. | Room M
There are over 1500 active pharmaceutical ingredients (APIs) currently in use. During their life cycle these substances can be released to water bodies and soil where, due to their biological activity, they may cause impacts on aquatic and terrestrial organisms. As detailed data are available on the environmental occurrence, fate and effects of only a small proportion of APIs in use, it is currently difficult to identify which, if any, of the APIs in use could be causing environmental harm and which should be monitored and regulated. Prioritisation and intelligent testing methodologies offer a potential solution to addressing these knowledge gaps while make the best use of the resources (including money and time) available and minimising the use of animal testing. This session aims to provide an overview of the state of the art around prioritisation and intelligent testing of APIs. Presentations will cover tools and frameworks that could be used to prioritise APIs in different environmental compartments and to inform more intelligent experimental testing of APIs of most concern. Presentations are therefore invited on a range of topics relevant to this issue including: approaches for better collation and sharing of existing data; approaches for estimating the environmental fate and effect endpoints of untested APIs (including chemical read across, mammalian to environmental read across; QSARs, QSPRs); in vitro and high throughput testing methodologies for environmental fate and effects endpoints; exposure modelling frameworks; chemical prioritisation schemes; expert systems to steer testing requirements of APIs.
4.15 - Environmental effects of metals: Improvements to risk assessment by considering speciation and bioavailability
Co-chairs: Christian E. Schlekat, Graham Merrington, Jean Mathieu Renaud, Steven Siciliano
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room M
Metal risk to aquatic and terrestrial receptors is modulated by metal speciation. Metal speciation effects metal bioavailability, and hence the risk of an adverse outcome in the receptor. This session will present a series of talks that outline how modern risk assessment practices incorporate metal speciation and bioavailability to assess risks. Presentations will include methodological improvements in toxicity test design and interpretation with a strong focus on the implications of these improvements on water and soil criteria.
4.16 - Wastewater effluents: How research can improve risk assessment and regulation
Co-chairs: Dean Leverett, Mirco Bundschuh
May 16, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room E
The majority of chemicals discharged to the aquatic environment are delivered in the form of effluents – aqueous mixtures of chemicals derived from industrial processes or the treatment of domestic sewage. Municipal wastewater treatment works are designed primarily to treat domestic wastewater and biological treatment processes are therefore employed to facilitate the removal of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate, rather than to deal with the broad range of chemicals present in industrial and domestic wastewater. Additional ‘tertiary’ or ‘advanced’ treatments may help to deal with specific substances and reduce potential risks to the receiving environment. Moreover, the regulatory focus has shifted in recent years from industrial chemicals onto those derived from domestic sewage (e.g. pharmaceuticals, personal care products, etc). This session will focus upon the considerable challenges, which underpin the risk assessment, regulation and control of these point-sources of chemical contamination. For this purpose, high quality information is required on the composition of effluents, the characteristics of the receiving environment, the sources of substances in the effluent, the effectiveness of advanced effluent treatments, and the effects of the substances (both alone and as a mixture) on ecosystems. Although this is an issue of global relevance, the systems used to monitor, control and regulate industrial and domestic sewage effluents differ among regions and countries. Some authorities focus on the overall ecotoxicological effects of effluents while others apply regulatory systems dealing with chemicals on a ‘substance by substance’ basis. In this session we invite presentations which highlight how recent insights can be used to advance, support or challenge the regulatory processes that are applied to control wastewater effluents. This may include: • Reviews of the effectiveness of regulations and procedures used to assess risk and control wastewater effluents, or substances entering wastewater systems, • Chemical monitoring of wastewater effluents and the receiving environments, • Sources of substances and potential source controls, • The efficiency of new or existing treatment technologies and/or factors that may affect the viability of such treatments, • The behaviour of substances discharged in effluents and their fate after discharge, • Population-relevant ecotoxicological effects inferred by substances present within wastewater effluents (alone or in combination), • Studies, which help to improve the resolution with which we can measure environmental change (e.g. following the introduction of new controls).
5.01 - Building of large-scale inventories of emissions and resources and applications for environmental footprints of territories, nations and sectors
Co-chairs: Alexis Laurent, Mélanie Douziech, Serenella Sala
May 14, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room E
LCA has traditionally been applied at micro-scale level, e.g. product. Over the past decades, it has also increasingly been used to assess large-scale systems, such as entire cities, nations or sectors. Such development can be regarded as necessary to address policy-makers in authorities and industry, who need to take decisions at those macroscale levels, e.g. framing new regulations or refining existing ones. What is the current status with respect to both methodological developments and applications to support such cases? What has been achieved and what challenges still remain? This session will address these questions, and welcome contributions addressing the following topics (not exhaustive): – Building of consistent inventories of emissions and resources at national or sectoral levels that can feed into large scale inventories as well as product-scale inventories – Method developments in data handling, extrapolation techniques, gap-filling procedures, uncertainty assessments, etc., for complementing currently-incomplete substance coverage in LCI (across different locations/countries, time periods/years, technologies). – Use of different modelling approaches in large-scale system assessments, such as attributional vs. consequential modelling or use of marginal vs. average characterization factors – Process-based assessment, IO-based assessment & hybrid assessments – Development and use of multi-regional input-output models – Production-based and consumption-based assessments at large-scale – Use of Environmental footprints of cities, regions, nations and sectors in policy support: – Benchmarking with science-based sustainability thresholds or targets (e.g. planetary boundaries, carrying capacities, etc.) The session is anticipated to provide the audience with a current overview of approaches, methods and models, which enable assessment of environmental impacts of large scale systems, along with remaining challenges to appropriately address the needs of policy making.
5.02 - Challenges, methodological developments and practical solutions for Social Life Cycle Assessment in industry and policy
Co-chairs: Andreas Ciroth (GreenDelta, Germany), Andrea Porcari (Airi – Italian Association for Industrial Research, Italy)
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room C
Assessing social impacts of products is gaining more and more importance and attention. Thanks to a broader media focus, negative employment practices of companies or impacts on social communities cannot be easily hidden anymore. Besides, consumers do not want their products to be related to such impacts. An adequate method to assess social impacts along entire life cycles is Social Life Cycle Assessment (S-LCA). Since its early stages in the 1990s, significant progress has been made: databases for S-LCA have been developed, first case studies in different fields have been carried out and new methods have been presented. Currently, research especially regarding impact assessment methods, data quality assessment and characterization and weighting factors is being accelerated by the Social LC Alliance. The need for early assessment of social impacts in product development, is also underlined by the notion of Responsible Research and Innovation, increasingly considered in national and EU policies for innovation.
Aside from its scientific focus, social sustainability, S-LCA, and RRI as well, are also gaining relevance at the international level. The Sustainable Development Goals 2016 (SDG) are emphasizing social needs including improvements in education and health, gender equality, decent work and job opportunities. Especially in developing countries, the method is of high political interest being considered as a possibility to combat social inequality, unfair working conditions and poverty. Both governments and companies have an important role in achieving these goals by adequate policies and sustainable practices. S-LCA could play a relevant role, as quantitative and scientific-based methodology, towards reaching the social SDG. However, methodological developments are still needed, and its application and implementation in practice is still hesitant. Only some industrial S-LCA case studies have been conducted, and very few pilot studies applying S-LCA in policy have been realized. Similar challenges are faced by practictioners in the field of RRI. Why is that? Is it a methodological issue, i.e. is the method too complex or the impact assessment too uncertain or unspecific? Or is it rather because companies and governments are afraid of uncovering social hotspots in their supply chains that otherwise could be offset by Corporate Social Responsibility activities? Another reason could be that results using generic databases might seem unreliable, or, if reliable, practitioners might not be convinced by the benefits that come along with the analyses. In the presentations of this session, this kind of questions will be discussed and analyzed. Considering the political and business need to improve social conditions especially for workers, local communities and value chain actors, it is important to constantly further develop and establish the S-LCA and RRI methods, and apply them to practical cases. Researchers and practitioners are invited to present theoretical and practical approaches that are related – but not limited – to social data collection (at an industrial and governmental level), impact assessment methods and the definition of impact pathways, and data management tools. Examples of the practical implementation in policy, company-specific solution approaches for the S-LCA of products and RRI, will be considered in the session.
5.03 - Emerging technologies and related raw materials requirements scenarios: the role of life cycle thinking
Co-chairs: Laura Cutaia, Grazia Barberio, Serena Righi, Alessandra Bonoli
May 17, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room C
Emerging technologies are often considered the key for a better life quality and for a successful reduction of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. But now there is an increasing interest and concern on resource scarcity and raw materials (RMs) supply management and related environmental and social impacts. For this reasons the aim of this session is to investigate how the adoption of emerging technologies can affect the consumption of RMs considering the whole Life Cycle of innovative systems. Indeed, changes may be implemented, which could lead to an overall reduction in environmental impacts and also to unexpected impacts elsewhere in the product’s life cycle. Thus, the need to use a Life Cycle Thinking (LCT) approach and related life cycle-based methods can avoid a shift of the burden to other phases of the life cycle; to other regions of the world; and to other impact categories. The way proposed is the combination of Life cycle thinking and RMs requirement and management scenarios. This should include: – life cycle approach of innovative technologies, e.g. considering impacts which are ‘imported’ into the system due to the ‘background system’ and what is the potential improvement of these technologies compared to competitors or conventional ones; the connections between technology and social system; rebound effects and scale up effects identification as well as non-linear relationships, feedback loops, emergent phenomena. – life cycle inventories and specific database on new technologies (with particular focus on RMs amount requirements and its trend, taking into account even technological improvements). – RMs requirement analysis over the life cycle chains of products/service/systems adopting emerging technologies (with particular focus on critical raw materials – CRMs -, market conditions and trends, amounts and substitution potentials). – Consequential analysis for the outlook scenarios of emerging technologies. As an example, electric mobility scenarios could be investigated taking into account not only the GHGs emission scenarios but also the RMs requirements (type by type, over time, with market issues), considering amount needed year by year as well as the return ratio at the EoLs. By this way, it will be possible investigate RMs requirements due to the adoption of emerging technologies, over time, in the production phase and also in use, consumption, reuse, refurbishment, recovery and end-of-life (EoL) phases. This can contribute to the knowledge on RMs requirements for planning the supply and management of RMs (primary and secondary as available at the EoL phase) with a holistic and systemic approach. This set of information can be used for investigating the resource efficiency of emerging technologies adoption and management in order to understand if they are sustainable both from a RMs and an environmental point of view. Moreover results and suggestions can be useful for a better management of the entire value chain, for many stakeholders (enterprises, policy-makers, citizens). Indeed, outcomes of this kind of analysis can support strategies, policies, plans and programs on resource efficiency, resource management and, in general, on circular economy (e.g. adoption of policies for supporting a specific technology on the market, or on EoL new managements schemes and technologies needed for improving the recovery and reuse of RMs).
5.04 - Integrating life cycle approaches towards a sustainable circular economy
Co-chairs: Monia Niero, Eric J. Van Genderen, Chris Bayliss
May 15, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room C
In recent years the vision of a circular economy has rapidly gained a key role in the international political and business agendas on how to decouple economic growth from resource constraints. According to the EU Action Plan for the circular economy “the transition to a more circular economy, where the value of products, materials and resources is maintained in the economy for as long as possible, and the generation of waste minimized, is an essential contribution to the EU’s efforts to develop a sustainable, low carbon, resource efficient and competitive economy”. To this end, material producers and downstream users are being asked to provide ever greater and more sophisticated information to authorities and consumers on the environmental footprints of the materials it produces and markets. For a circular economy to be sustainable, circularity strategies (i.e., strategies aiming at keeping products, components and materials at their highest utility at all times), need to consider also economic, social and normative aspects, beyond the environmental ones. Life cycle approaches are very powerful methodologies to address trade-offs, both between life cycle stages and between different sustainability aspects. This session will facilitate information exchange on methodological developments and applications of stand-alone or integrated life cycle approaches (Environmental Footprint, Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment), present challenges associated with cultural barriers for data collection, and illustrate the need for a collective response from all stakeholders. Presentations will cover aspects of the transition to a sustainable circular economy, from both methodological and applicative perspectives and provide case studies related to the four key areas identified in the EU Action Plan for circular economy: • production: circular product design, innovative and efficient production processes; • consumption: repair and reuse, resource demands and shifts in consumer behaviors; • waste management: waste hierarchy, closed-loop recycling, waste prevention; • market for secondary raw materials: responsible sourcing, material flows, recycled nutrients and water.
5.05 - Interpretation and uncertainty - overcoming challenges of translating LCA results into reliable information
Co-chairs: Gudrun Obersteiner, Michele De Rosa, Nicole Unger
May 14, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room C
The interpretation is the last stage of an LCA and provides among others also a basis for further communication. In combination with the other stages of the LCA study, this step allows setting results into an appropriate context within which the outcomes apply and to what extent. Hence, an adequate interpretation of LCA results is key to ensure that the related information is correctly used to inform interested stakeholders and decision makers. However, LCA remains in all cases a modelled system that (only) reflects key elements of the real life system. A description and assessment of this model system requires simplifications, streamlining, assumptions, filling data gaps, cross reading from other sources of information, or the application of further models e.g. for impact assessment, just to name a few. Decisions made in relation to the assessment of such modelled systems will in turn affect the results, their representativeness, scope of validity and ability to answer the research questions set out in the goal and scope of a study. For this session we would like to invite contributions discussing various aspects of the LCA framework, including practical application but in all cases with a clear focus on their relevance for the interpretation stage: • Influence/Relevance of modelling framework and system boundaries • Progress and new developments in context of uncertainties and variabilities (e.g. in relation to model description, inventories, LCIA) and its influence/relevance on the interpretation • Influence/Relevance of representativeness (technological, temporal and geographic) e.g. up-scaling from lab or pilot scale to large scale commercialisation • Influence/relevance of the choice and the implementation of LCIA methods as well as of the use of complementary assessment approaches, like e.g. risk assessment • Influence/Relevance of aggregation and weighting • Transferability and limitations of LCA results • Relevance of interpretation in the context of product category rules, EPD etc. • The application of LCA results in a wider decision making, e.g. the role of LCA in context of circular economy.
5.06 - LCA and beyond - integrating sustainability and/or other dimensions to improve decision support
Co-chairs: Serenella Sala, Roland Hischier, Yan Dong
May 16, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room C
Sustainability is a multi-dimensional concept, which involves different areas (economic, environmental and social), normative positions, and empirical knowledge. Sustainability Science (SS) is considered an emerging discipline, whose aim is to handle environmental, social and economic issues in light of cultural, historic and institutional perspectives. Environmental, economic and social aspects of the society interact in a complex pattern. The cultural, social, political and regulatory contexts affect the assessment of these interactions. Life cycle thinking (LCT) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) have a high potential to be used more extensively in supporting decision making both for policy and business, from problem definition up to the evaluation of decision implications (e.g. assessing the impact of different options, supporting policy implementation etc.). LCA is today one of the most popular methods for evaluating the environmental impacts of different products and/or services. One of its strength is the fact that LCA is a relative approach, but in the same time, this relativity is also one of the main limitations when applying LCA outside traditional comparison studies, e.g. for the analysis of the different life stages within a product or service. The past years saw a multitude of different strategies emerging in order to overcome limitations of this traditional, ISO-based LCA approach, e.g. – by integrating planetary and other science-based boundaries to allow absolute assessments; – by combining LCA with traditional risk assessment (RA) based approaches or cost benefit analysis (CBA) for better decision support; – by transforming lab-scale information in a way that allows a “fair” comparison of such new developments with current products and/or services; – by analysing the societal consequences, being the consequence of the introduction of a new material and/or product in our society. Related to sustainability, LCA thinking may play a crucial role as it already fulfils some of the main requirements of sustainability assessment methods, i.e. (i) using system thinking and (ii) being an interdisciplinary approach. However, despite these characteristics, LCA does not have all capabilities for addressing the main characteristics of SS, which are (i) complexity (multi-sectoral knowledge, multi-spatial and time scales, multi-metrics); (ii) uncertainty; and (iii) urgency. Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA) is thought to be the solution here. Its application in decision support largely remains unexplored. This session invites contributions describing advancements in any of the above-mentioned areas of development – describing the role of a specific approach, highlighting their strengths and weaknesses, propose areas of potential improvement and recommendations for its further development, presenting case studies integrating different methodologies as well as those beyond the LCA domain.
5.07 - LCIA method developments in a global perspective: Status and outlook
Co-chairs: Alexis Laurent, Rosalie Van Zelm, Ralph K. Rosenbaum, Heinz Stichnothe
May 14, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room C
Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) aims to support decision-making processes with the most accurate and reliable overview of the environmental impacts associated with products/services/systems under study. Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) methods are continuously developed to ensure increased reliability and accuracy in these assessments. Where are we today? What have been the latest LCIA method developments and what are the future LCIA methodological needs that enable to move towards a better support for industries and authorities, who increasingly look at systems in a global perspective. The goal of this session is to exchange knowledge between LCIA method developers and LCA practitioners with respect to new developments in LCIA and requirements for making them operational for decision support of industry and policy makers. The session has two major objectives: (i) providing an overview of the latest LCIA method developments, with the aim to cover a broad range of environmental problems; and (ii) identifying methodological gaps and challenges in the current LCIA methods that should be put on future research agendas. These two objectives are anticipated to be met through a number of relevant LCIA topics, which include but are not limited to: – Development of LCIA and footprinting methods addressing yet-uncovered environmental impact categories and/or improving and refining existing ones, e.g. by adding relevant pathways or extending substance coverage – Refining spatial differentiation in LCIA characterization – Inclusion of temporal issues into LCIA characterization – Global scalability of LCIA methods – Midpoint versus damage-based assessments – Comparative performances of different LCIA methods for same impact categories – Method developments in normalization and weighting – Linking LCIA with other assessment approaches such as risk assessment – Integrated interpretation of improved or new impact methods in full LCA studies – Requirements for the integration of new LCIA methods in software packages These aspects are expected to address both method developers (setting of research agenda and provision of specific LCIA method development guidelines) and LCA practitioners (getting updated on latest developments, guidelines for LCIA method application). In particular, the applicability and implementation in practice of the LCIA method developments including uncertainty evaluation could be reflected in the submitted contributions to demonstrate the increased accuracy/reliability in the LCA results. Keywords: life cycle impact assessment, LCIA method development, decision-making support, methodological challenges, interpretation of LCIA results.
5.08 - New frontiers in Life Cycle Inventory data collection and modelling
Co-chairs: Michele De Rosa, Roland Hischier, Heinz Stichnothe
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room C
Life Cycle Inventory (LCI) data collection is usually the most time-consuming and expensive stage within the LCA framework. Several efforts to improve these LCI models ensured numerous advancements in recent years, making system models more flexible and transparent. The amount of well-characterized, transparent and relevant data collected in any field has increased exponentially across the globe. Machines can harvest data automatically today, fostering the demand for public data. Open data enhance further the reusability of such data and the reproducibility of results. Currently, the more complete Environmental-extended Multi-Regional Input-Output (EMRIO) datasets can complement traditional, process-based LCI data, avoiding cut-offs while maintaining the level of detail provided by bottom-up process-based data collection. This session invites contributions describing advancements in and around inventory data collection as well as tackling other complementary issues around the topic of making such data accessible, reusable and interoperable. The session especially welcomes summary of forums and working activities aiming at reaching consensus or standardizing the nomenclature (i.e. ontology in data science) in Industrial Ecology; building consensus and enriching the metadata format; improving the spatial and temporal resolution of LCI data and the quality of data uncertainty information. We also encourage proposals dealing with approaches and methods in order to integrate cutting-edge computational and data management tools into the LCI data collection process, such as Text and Data Mining (TDM), the EUDAT services, cloud computing, big data storage solutions, semantic annotation for the semantic web of linked data etc.
5.09 - Product benefits and positive outcomes: valuation and beyond
Co-chairs: Enrico Benetto, Till M. Bachmann, Katerina Stylianou
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room C
The main purpose of a product or service system is to provide benefits to society. Such systems though also have detrimental impacts on human health, ecosystems, and resources. However, how can we evaluate and compare the potential benefits to the respective impacts? When comparing systems, how can we determine which one has more sustainable performance (greater benefits and lesser impacts)? Life cycle assessment (LCA) conventionally considers impacts on human health, ecosystems, and resources, quantified using a Life Cycle Impact Assessment (LCIA) framework. Given stakeholder interests in benefits, LCA compatible approaches that allow for the quantification of benefits have been gaining popularity, but suffer from lack of dissemination and consistency. Monetisation, or economic valuation, is a convenient way to express environmental and social impacts of products or organisations in the same unit as the associated economic performance, which in turns can be seen as a beneficial contribution to society. Since 2016, efforts to standardisation exist at ISO level (ISO 14007 and 14008) in order to increase transparency when doing monetary valuation. However, other approaches to quantify benefits of a service in a LCA framework have recently been taken. Stylianou et al. (2015), for example, developed a framework that allows for benefits on human health to be considered in LCA. The framework is illustrated in a case study related to dietary patterns, where environmental impacts were compared to nutritional benefits on human health. In addition to a product or service having a beneficial function, benefits can occur along the life cycle. Hereto, an approach called Life Cycle Benefit Assessment (LCBA) has been introduced (Evah 2020, 2017). It brings into focus potential gains in safe operating space within planetary boundaries and encompasses modelling of potential resource regeneration, human wellness, and ecosystem repair. This session includes contributions that a) describe new developments in terms of weighting and economic valuation in LCA and LCC; b) present new methodological approaches to include positive impacts in LCA and related case studies; c) explore differences and commonalities of LCA and Social/Natural Capital Assessments.
7.01 - Anthropogenic and natural sources of environmental contaminants highlight the impacts of opposing and conflicting regulations
Co-chairs: Martin Blank, Dirk Liss
May 15, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room A
The detection of “contaminants” in the environment is taken seriously by environmental scientists, regulators and society. These findings can often be attributed to a single source, for example, the use of chemicals in agriculture. This enables regulators to apply the relevant legal framework to characterize the hazard of this “contaminant”, and to assess the risk so as to ensure that no harm is done to humans or the environment.
But what if the “contaminant” has more than a single source? Its pathway in the environment might be very complex, or even a natural source may be responsible (e.g., geogenic or biogenic formation). Different – sometimes even conflicting – legal frameworks will suddenly be relevant: protection goals may differ substantially for the same “contaminant” depending on whether its source can be attributed to a pharmaceutical product, a pesticide, a biocide, a commodity chemical, a fertilizer, or just a “natural molecule”. Therefore, innovative scientific approaches might be needed to investigate sources and pathways, and to identify or even quantify the contributions of those different sources.
This session aims to highlight the potential issues that surround the different levels of protection provided by regulations applicable to the same substance within different sectors, and also the technical challenges involved in differentiating the sources for regulatory purposes.
One recent example is 1,2,4-Triazole, but obviously many others exist:
1H-1,2,4-Triazole (124T) is a key structural component of all azole-fungicides, one of the world’s most widely used fungicide classes in agriculture. So far, its origin in the environment was interpreted as a result of the breakdown of the parent azole-fungicides only. As a relevant metabolite of a pesticide, in the EU the concentration of 124T has strictly to stay below the hazard-based limit value of 0.1µg/l in groundwater and thus restrictions on agricultural uses of azole-fungicides have been necessary.
However, it has become clear that 124T is not only an azole-fungicide metabolite, but that it also occurs almost ubiquitously in the environment, originating from other anthropogenic sources that do not fall under pesticide legislation, such as fertilizer additives and commodity chemicals, and is also naturally formed.
As part of the necessary background to design monitoring programs, tailor-made approaches were needed to identify and investigate the different sources of 124T and elucidate the pathways of entry and distribution in the environment. Industry scientists of the TDMG have therefore expanded their scientific scope from typical crop protection related uses and environmental impact investigations into non-agricultural environments (German forests) and residues in different matrices (‘time capsules’, such as glacier ice or old vine, non-agricultural soils, and organic produce). The work is supported with a recent terrestrial field dissipation study using 13C-stable isotope labelled azole-fungicide to differentiate between 124T resulting from the parent azole-fungicide and the various other different sources.
In the 124T case, relying on a limited data set for regulatory decision making could result in a systematic over-estimation of the environmental exposure risk from pesticide usage. It shows that an improved understanding of the sources and the pathways of relevant “contaminants” in the environment is a pre-requisite for reliable and justified regulatory conclusions.
What do “we” as environmental scientists need to investigate or what can “we” provide for a proper evaluation of environmental “contaminants” with multiple sources?
Are you doing research on environmental “contaminants” with multiple sources or do you want to share your experiences with different regulatory assessment of such multi-source contaminants, or do you wish to present innovative thinking or approaches in this area, your abstract is highly welcome.
7.02 - Can trends in wildlife populations revolutionise our understanding of the impacts of chemicals on the environment?
Co-chairs: Andrew Johnson, John P. Sumpter
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room E
Fluctuations in species diversity and abundance over time has been central to ecological research for many decades. It has informed us about the impacts of changes in farming practice, alien species introduction, habitat change and climate change, to name but a few, on the fortunes of wildlife. But such data has not been consistently interrogated with respect to the impacts of chemical exposure. This is rather surprising given the key role that population data played in the past with banning DDT (and similar organo-chlorine pesticides), TBT and shellfish together with diclofenac and Asian vultures. Such information is considered key for Policy Makers as the Chief Scientist for the UK Department of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs stated in 2015 ‘population impacts drive policy’. Admittedly, in the water environment, the state of macroinvertebrate diversity at the family level is a part of the WFD and has been linked to specific chemical exposure with the msPAF and SPEAR ranking methods although changing trends over time have not been fully exploited by these approaches. What can long-term wildlife studies tell us? A decline in the sightings by amateur naturalists of UK bee species which forage on oil seed rape was found following the introduction of neonicotinoid application to this crop. Killer whales off the coast of the UK have failed to breed for the past 20 years and their tissue contains very high concentrations of PCBs – known to cause endocrine disruption. An ongoing UK study on a river, whose flow is composed of 65-85% wastewater effluent from a city of 175,000 people, has found a dramatic and sustained improvement of macroinvertebrate diversity since 1991. This appears to be linked to an improvement in ammonia, BOD and DO content of the river rather than any known toxic contaminant (or phosphate). Perhaps our post-1991 domestic chemical waste is tolerable for macroinvertebrates? The relationship between temporal wildlife changes and chemical exposure won’t provide us with all the answers on chemicals in the environment, but it will answer the most important question – are the chemicals we use and dispose of, sustainable for the environment? Rather than new technology, a greater use of long-term wildlife monitoring data could offer the next revolution in our thinking for chemicals in the environment. It is particularly important we explore it further before the unglamorous process of wildlife monitoring suffers further cuts which undermine its value! We organised a special session for the 26th Annual meeting in Nantes which made some hesitant first steps in exploring this topic of risk assessment and the role of wildlife monitoring. That session exceeded our expectations but now we feel the topic has grown sufficiently that it would benefit from further re-examination.
7.03 - Indigeneity and Science: A collaborative work in progress
Co-chairs: Tracey Godfery, Bradley Joseph Moggridge, Ross Smith
May 17, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room E
Scientists within SETAC are tackling complex environmental questions around the fate and effects of contaminants, and their implication for environmental and human health. While there are attempts at involving and sharing this science with relevant communities, much of this research is still conducted, reported, and discussed, within the bubble of our discipline-specific scientific communities. When research takes place on Indigenous lands, the social aspects of our science come to the forefront. Indigenous peoples rely on their traditional lands for subsistence food and to ensure social, cultural, and spiritual well-being. Conducting western science on traditional lands must therefore utilise an inclusive approach predicated on respectful and reciprocal engagement. Despite considerable lip service, many outreach and engagement efforts are overlooked or undervalued within our scientific institutions and societies. This reflects history, the slow pace of institutional change, challenges inherent with linking Western science with traditional knowledge, and a paucity of opportunities to honestly discuss and share efforts and challenges with our scientific peers. This session aims to highlight ongoing collaborative research efforts with Indigenous communities, illustrate the strengths and challenges of successful collaborations that bridge research and community engagement, and discuss links between Western science and traditional knowledge systems. Additionally, the expression of indigenous ‘knowing’, formed through intimate inter-generational relationships to the environment, has a valuable role in informing scientific research and policy-making. As demonstrated by recent ‘indigenous’ themed sessions at the Asia/Pacific and North America meetings, as well as the formation of the Indigenous Knowledge & Values Interest Group, this session is important to the SETAC Rome meeting and provides a stage for indigenous voices and research within the SETAC community. Our hope is to recruit a representative group of speakers including academics, government agencies, consultants, students, NGO’s, and Indigenous members that are involved in community-driven collaborative research projects. Topics that will be encouraged and solicited for this session include: community engagement and education efforts related to research on Indigenous lands; linking traditional knowledge and Western science; development of effective community-based monitoring programs; and initiatives to include Indigenous communities in science and policy decisions; among others.
7.04 - Thinking green and circularly about microparticles, nanomaterials and composite materials: approaches for recovery, recycling and reuse
Co-chairs: Iseult Lynch, Alistair Boxall
May 16, 2018, 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster corner)
Single use plastics have emerged recently as one of the most significant pollutants in the environment along with their breakdown products of secondary microplastics, following 50 years of widespread utilisation of plastics. Similarly, the vast majority of nanomaterials and nanocomposites are also designed for single use, with negligible no thought given to their recovery and re-use despite many of these materials being precious metals, or even on the critical elements list such as natural graphite, the or rare earth metals or (e.g. indium). While 3D printing helps to create more and more with less waste, little though is given here either to issues of reuse or recovery. While there is an increasing awareness in scientific research regarding the need for safer-by-design products, whereby the environmental health and safety aspects are considered from the design stage, there is very limited of focus to date on green approaches to production of micro and nanomaterials, nor and severe lack of focus on the design of products in which the micro- or nano-components could be recovered at the end of product use for recycling and reuse. Thus, this session will focus on thinking creatively and circularly about microplastics and nanomaterials, and composites containing these, including strategies for benign-by-design materials and products, eco-friendly materials, design for sustainability, and strategies to reduce the reliance on critical raw materials or recover and reuse of these materials in line with the EU EIP Raw Materials and EIT KIC in Raw Materials. This session seeks studies addressing green and circular economy strategies focussing on microplastics, nanomaterials and nanocomposites, including greener synthesis approaches (addressing all aspects including raw materials availability, energy consumption, as well as recyclability etc.), life cycle assessment, product design strategies, and chemical and biological strategies for recovery of nanomaterials and microplastics from products and/or the environment, strategies for reduction of the reliance on critical raw materials in the production of nano-enabled products, and/or strategies for re-use of nanomaterials either in the same product on in down-stream applications. Theoretically and experimental studies are welcome, as well as conceptual frameworks for circular economy strategies, and case studies on responsible research and innovation in these research areas.
6.01 - Challenges in setting, meeting and measuring specific protection goals for plant protection products
Co-chairs: Lorraine Maltby, Peter Campbell
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room A
In order to place a plant protection product on the market in Europe, an extensive risk assessment and regulatory approval by multiple authorities is required. For the protection of the human population it is generally accepted that there should be protection of the individual from adverse effects. Environmental protection goals, however, have tended to be less clearly defined and are being reconsidered with the aim of developing specific protection goals for both biodiversity and ecosystem services. The European Food Safety Authority have published guidance on establishing specific protection goals, which suggests a process that specifies the relevant ecosystem service, the species or group providing that service and the level of protection required to maintain such a service (EFSA 2016). The shift towards more specific protection goals brings a number of challenges and this session will focus on the challenges faced by all stakeholders in setting, meeting, and measuring, specific protection goals; whilst also balancing the responsible use of innovative agrochemicals to ensure food security, and minimise environmental impacts. We invite speakers from all stakeholder groups including, policy makers, governmental regulatory agencies, industry and academia; to present on these challenges. Speakers are particularly encouraged to provide abstracts investigating the challenges in measuring the impact of changes to specific protection goals and how we, as a scientific community, better communicate these goals to external stakeholders (e.g. general public). References: EFSA Scientiﬁc Committee, 2016. Guidance to develop speciﬁc protection goals options for environmental risk assessment at EFSA, in relation to biodiversity and ecosystem services. EFSA Journal 2016;14(6):4499, 50 pp. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2016.4499
6.02 - Derivation, Validation and Implementation of Environmental Quality Benchmarks
Co-chairs: Bryan W. Brooks, Kenneth Mei Yee Leung, Michael St John Warne
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. | Room A
This session aims to provide a platform for international leaders in the derivation of environmental quality benchmarks (EQBs) to share their knowledge and expertise on the latest developments in the field with SETAC members from government, academia and private sector. EQBs such as water and sediment quality guidelines of chemical contaminants are indispensable tools for effective monitoring and regulation of environmental contaminants to protect aquatic ecosystems, precious natural resources, and human health. In the past five years, there have been rapid developments in the science and methodology for deriving generic EQBs and site-specific EQBs as well as advancements in their related policy and application for water quality management in different parts of the world. However, there are a number of challenging issues which are yet to be fully tackled, for example: • How to modify current EQBs to account for the combined effect of physic-chemical stressors and climate change (e.g. temperature and pH changes)? • How to derive and implement EQBs for individual chemicals when we are required to manage chemical mixtures and multiple stressors in the aquatic environment? • How can toxicity data non-native species be used to protect local un-tested species? • How can toxicity data from different eco- or climatic-regions be best used to protect species in different eco- or climatic-regions? • What are the best ways to design and conduct field experiments to validate the effectiveness of EQBs to protect biodiversity and ecosystem functions? • How can the ecological realism of EQBs be increased? These questions are important for environmental protection. Science-based answers are needed to support the efforts of environmental authorities in setting policies/legislation to reduce pollution and protect aquatic environments. The three international convenors of this session (from Hong Kong, China; USA; and Australia and now Europe) will discuss these questions specifically and provide their recommendations at this session.
6.03 - Environmental risk assessment and management of the spoil material produced in tunnelling excavation
Co-chairs: Anna Barra Caracciolo, Paola Grenni, Luisa Patrolecco, Donato Ludovici
May 16, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room D
In the next years, due to the numerous tunnelling projects planned in Europe and worldwide, several hundreds of millions of tonnes of spoil material will be produced. Tunnel debris are composed by soil and rock treated during excavation processes with different chemical products (e.g. foaming agents and polymers) used for soil conditioning. Tunnel debris can be used for refilling old quarries and road construction and as a raw material for industrial production or other purposes. Commercial foaming products are chemical mixture, which can include different compounds. The persistence and ecotoxicity of these chemicals can influence the subsequent possible re-use of the huge amount of soil debris as by-products or its discharge as waste. There are currently neither soil threshold limits in European and Italian legislation for several chemicals present in the chemical formula of soil conditioning additives, nor comprehensive studies on its ecotoxicological effects on soil and water organisms. The development of modern and efficient high-speed railway and motorway networks requires a responsible innovative technology and common criteria to assess and manage the possible environmental risk of the residual mixture of chemical occurring in the spoiled material. The session aims to promote an interdisciplinary discussion among Chemical producers, Engineering contractors, stakeholders (e.g. Railway and Motorway operators), Environmental scientists and Regulators on the complex topic of management of the spoil materials obtained from excavation performed with tunnel boring machine (TBM). In fact, this session deal with this topic from different point of views, such as the use of low-impact commercial products, common evaluation criteria for the environmental risk assessment of spoil material, taking into consideration different possible exposure scenarios and proposal of new European guidelines or regulations in order to make uniform between different Countries the environmental protective goals. Presentations (including study cases) from stakeholders, researchers from academia, chemical producers, engineering companies, regional and national government agencies are welcome.
6.04 - Informed substitution of hazardous chemicals for circular economy: science and practice
Co-chairs: Peter Simpson, Hugo Waeterschoot, Ian Cousins, Patrik Andersson
May 15, 2018, 10:50 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room D
Background: Increasing scientific concerns about hazardous chemicals in manufacturing processes and products has led to efforts to reduce risks including substitution of chemicals of concern with safer more sustainable alternatives. For carcinogenic, mutagenic and reprotoxic substances (CMRs) persistent, bioaccumulative and toxic substances (PBTs), endocrine disruptors, or other hazardous chemicals used in dispersive applications such as consumer products, substitution by safer alternatives is often recognised as the most effective option to reduce risks. An increasing number of regulatory and market-driven efforts promote the substitution of priority chemicals (e.g. REACH (EC 1907/2006) in the EU and the Toxic Substance Control Act in the US). In order to encourage early action on chemicals of concern, the European Chemicals Agency is preparing a substitution strategy to promote the substitution mind-set and to support industry to find safer alternatives. Collaborative interdisciplinary research projects are also underway, such as SUPFES (Substitution in Practice of Prioritised Fluorinated Chemicals to Eliminate Diffuse Sources), which focus on the substitution of specific types of chemicals. Policy and marketplace activity has led to a number of scientific efforts to develop tools and methodologies that support the informed substitution of hazardous chemicals, or hazardous processes, while avoiding regrettable substitutions that can occur when chemicals are replaced without adequate consideration of alternatives. Substitution should be viewed not only as a “regulatory activity” but as an important driver to the “circular economy”. For instance, removing hazardous substances from the life cycle of products allows them to be recycled safely at the end of life. In other words, substitution is a scientific and an innovation activity that merges improved product and process design with reduced impacts to the environment and human health. Substitution of substances or processes can be very challenging to ensure equivalent technical performance. Moreover, substitution may require a large amount of research before a decision is taken including chemical alternatives assessments and life cycle assessment (LCA). Session content: Focus will be on current and past efforts in substituting hazardous chemicals. We hope to receive contributions from scientists, authorities, and industry, in the form of methodological approaches and case studies (successful or not). The goal is to convene a session serving the growing community of experts and practitioners involved in substitution, life cycle assessment, green chemistry and the circular economy and to discuss lessons learned and challenges faced. Through this discussion, we hope to amplify the positive impact of policy efforts and market forces in stimulating innovation that contributes to sustainability.
6.05 - PBT/vPvB & PMT/vPvM substances and Non-extractable residues (NER): Scientific strategies, Analytical challenges and Regulatory Issues
Co-chairs: Stefan Hahn, Andreas Schaeffer, Michael Neumann
May 16, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 12:25 p.m. | Room B
According to the REACh regulation a quantitative assessment of the long-term effects and long-term exposure cannot be carried out with sufficient reliability for substances with persistent, bioaccumulating and toxic (PBT) or very persistent and very bioaccumulating (vPvB) properties. The same holds true for persistent, mobile and toxic (PMT) and very persistent and very mobile (vPvM) substances. Once emitted into the environment, these substances can move and remain circulating in the water cycle for long periods of time. In 2017, version 3.0 of the REACh guidance R.11 was published, in which several new aspects and new screening threshold criteria have been implemented for the assessment of PBT/vPvB substances. One of the critical issues refers to the identification of PBT and vPvB substances and the consideration of non-extractable residues (NER). For the assessment of NER as well as for PMT/vPvM substances unified guidance based on a scientific background is missing. The regulatory views on NER formation differ considerably, with the two extremes of (i) assuming them as either degraded residues of no environmental concern, at least if they are below certain threshold values, or (ii) as bioavailable and non-degraded residues (“parent compound”). In other words, NER in the respective matrix are valued either as safe sink or as potential hidden hazard. Unfortunately, the assessment of the structures and types of NER and the mobilization potential are not yet included in the assessment of PBT/vPvB. Therefore, a unified approach is needed for regulatory purposes under different regulations (REACH, BPR, (V)MP, and PPP). Persistent and polar (mobile) substances are expected to be widely distributed in the environment. Up to date we only have information on a fraction of these substances, because the most mobile contaminants in the aquatic environment are the most difficult to measure. Also: The same intrinsic substance properties that make them persistent in the environment and mobile in the aquatic environment might hinder – during water treatment processes – their degradation by ozone and UV or their retention via filtration using activated charcoal. The aquatic environment and more critically, drinking water resources are particularly vulnerable and require a high level of protection. Closely related to identifying substances of very high concern is the question how to translate relevant properties into effective, concern-based regulatory strategies. In particular, REACH links regulatory decisions on the authorisation and restriction with a socio-economic analysis (SEA), which requires balancing all positive and negative impacts from a chemicals’ use or non-use. The aim of this session is to stimulate the exchange between specialists in fate and transport of contaminants, monitoring, exposure assessment and analysis on the one hand and experts in hazard assessment, risk mitigation and regulation on the other hand.
6.06 - Risk assessment of Nanomaterials: innovative approaches and application of recent research developments to regulatory science
Co-chairs: Laurence Deydier Stephan, Sonia Manzo, Simona Scalbi, Doris Voelker
May 17, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 10:05 a.m. | Room N
In the EU, Nanomaterials (NMs) are implicitly covered by the substance definition of REACH Regulation 1907/2006 although currently REACH does not explicitly lay down specific rules for them. Nevertheless, other regulations do explicitly cover them such as the Biocides Products Regulations (BPR) or Cosmetics one. As a regulatory agency, ECHA plays a proactive role in the international regulatory debate on NMs by providing scientific input and support. To implement REACH, CLP and BPR in the EU, ECHA currently uses different approaches: supportive, formal applying the legal instruments available under REACH and BPR and soft via communications. Nevertheless the need for new or updated standardised methods, guidance and approaches has been recognised by regulators. Worldwide, recognised research activities towards more appropriate and representative risk assessment of nanomaterials were initiated regardless of the specific regulations it would apply to. Meanwhile regulatory tools suitable for nanomaterials are under development, a significant challenge to ensure sustainable production and use of nanotechnology and of engineered nanomaterials (ENM) is to implement practical strategies to manage the associated risks. This includes the identification of common basic needs for the Environment and Human Health Safety (EHS) assessment during the design, production, use and end of life phases of ENMs, and also support the innovation in the ENM safe-by-design vision. An additional challenge is to translate data on health and environment hazard characterization into composite synthetic indexes that might be used for comparative analyses, prioritization strategies, and Life Cycle Sustainability Assessment (LCSA). This session aims to bring scientists, regulators and industry together to discuss recent developments in the regulatory science and risk assessment of nanomaterials. The focus of the session is on the production of adequate and reliable information suitable for assessment and management of risk of nanomaterials over their life cycle as well as for regulatory purposes. It also implies to show the needs and challenges toward a safer nanotechnology production and to mitigate the risk of nanotechnology while applying integrative safety and risk assessments. Furthermore, the session takes into account respective scientific innovations regarding eco-design of a new nanotechnology, grouping approaches specific to NMs as well as the implementation of existing test methods, models, guidelines and guidance and the possible development of new ones.
6.07 - Safe by Design: responsible and innovative research for safe and sustainable chemistry
Co-chairs: Ester Papa, Elena Semenzin
May 15, 2018, 1:55 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.| Room D
The achievement of safe and sustainable manufacture and use of chemicals through the application of a pro-active, “thinking-ahead rather than later” approach, still represents a challenge for the scientific and regulatory community. The application of international regulations for chemical substances (e.g. REACH, Cosmetic Directive, Biocide regulation), and the prohibitive economic and social cost of testing, necessary to provide extensive information on fate and effects to humans and the environment along the life cycle, highlight the need to implement the Safe by Design (SbD) approach. SbD has been proposed to support the timely identification and management of uncertainties and potential risks during an innovation process, and its principles can guide step-by-step the development of sustainable and safe products. Therefore, its implementation allows to prevent hazardous substances from being developed and entering the environment, as well as to build safer alternatives to existing hazardous chemicals. Recently, to support nanotechnology innovation the SbD approach has been aligned to the Cooper Stage-Gate innovation process, an industrially standard systematic approach that divides technology innovation into five stages, incorporating a risk and sustainability analysis to inform decisions on project termination, the need for stage reiteration to improve the product safety/sustainability, and/or progression to the next stage. Aim of this session is to provide a forum to exchange experiences, existing knowledge, and insights gained within the application of the SbD approach to chemical substances, including traditional and emerging contaminants and chemical mixtures. Contribution to this session may include frameworks for SbD as well as methods and tools supporting their implementation such as: i) in silico approaches and tools to predict and screen hazard related properties of chemicals (e.g. QSAR-like approaches), ii) safe by molecular design methods, iii) risk assessment along the life cycle of chemical substances/products, iv) alternatives assessment and v) sustainability assessment of chemicals (including economic and social dimensions in addition to environmental ones). Overall, the topics addressed in this session may be useful to provide basis for the development of standard practices in the SbD of chemicals, which will be used as support for decision making towards safe and sustainable innovation in the chemical sector.
6.08 - The Need for Resilience in Environmental Impact Assessment
Co-chairs: Richard J. Wenning, Sabine Elisabeth Apitz, Lawrence Kapustka, Thomas P Seager
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster session)
Concepts of ecological resilience have emerged globally as important considerations in the practice of environmental and social impact assessment. Addressing ecological resilience requires an understanding of the interconnectedness of environmental, social and economic issues affecting the sustainability of ecosystems. Arguably, however, indicators and tools for measuring resilience reman in an early stage of understanding and development. Further, both regulatory agencies and project sponsors can find it difficult, at present, to interpret and verify the potential for environmental recovery and resilience when such issues are included in impact assessments. If these difficulties can be overcome, embedding resiliency concepts and assessment tools into the impact assessment process has the potential to significantly influence project decision-making, particularly for so-called mega-scale infrastructure and resource and development projects where the scale of the short- and long-term environmental changes are substantial. The same difficulties and limitations apply to preparedness planning and assessment for disasters and crises associated with both extreme natural events and human-caused accidents. The central question concerns the ability of the affected ecosystem to recover most, if not all, structural and functional characteristics evident before change occurred. A closely related question asks if a modified ecosystem can be set on a new and stable trajectory that satisfies the values and desires of communities affected by a changed environment. Central to such an evaluation is the understanding of what aspects or functions of the ecosystems are the most vulnerable, valued, or essential to change and recovery. As the scale of resource development projects and extreme natural events grow larger, governments and business are calling for resilience-based strategies to help anticipate and cope with unexpected and sudden shocks to ecosystems and communities potentially affected by sudden changes. Resilience strategies could target planning and preparedness efforts aimed at identifying risks and vulnerabilities, and then design strategies to preempt avoidable consequences or, mitigate worst-case upset scenarios. The SETAC journal, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM), is exploring this topic in a Call for Papers that will be issued on 01 October 2017. An IEAM editorial will appear in the November 2017 issue. Experts submitting short papers on this topic will be encouraged to participate in the technical session. Speakers will be encouraged to discuss current understanding of resilience principles in the context of disaster prevention planning and preparedness, as well as rehabilitation planning and monitoring. Papers will (a) identify the assessment challenges, (b) describe actions and strategies that have failed and those that have shown success in impact assessment work, and (c) identify the method development, policy and research needed to improve resilience thinking in environmental assessment and disaster rehabilitation.
6.09 - Use of Effect Based Methods in the context of the national and european legislative framework for the protection of aquatic ecosystems
Co-chairs: Mario Carere, Henner Hollert, Armelle Hebert
May 15, 2018, 08:30 a.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster session)
This session will focus on the application of effect based methods (bioassays in vitro, in vivo, biomarkers) in the context of national and European legislative framework (WFD, MSFD) for the protection of aquatic ecosystems (inland and marine waters). There is a strong need to include in the legislation alternative and cost-effective methods that can help to detect the effects caused by the emission and release in the environment of thousands of chemicals and group of chemicals, often emerging, that can generate mixtures with potential effects for human and ecosystem health. In a broader concept, the ecosystem includes also human beings and effect based methods can contribute to support the detection of chronic effects as endocrine disruption, oxidative stress, genotoxicity. The implementation of effect based methods for water quality monitoring can be also used for different regulation purposes, considering the added value of providing some emission limit values or other management criteria for example. Welcome are studies related to the identification of modes of action (e.g. neurotoxicity, estrogenicity, mutagenicity), the use of screening methods for the evaluation of complex mixtures, the derivation of trigger values, the support to the linking of chemical and ecological status. Also use of innovative methods for the monitoring strategies such as metagenomics or biosensors are welcomed.
6.10 - What's your take on communication? Don't Panic! Reports on how to accurately communicating science and risk
Co-chairs: Thomas-Benjamin Seiler, Samuel Robert Thompson, Leonie Nuesser, Silke Bollmohr
May 16, 2018, 5:15 p.m. – 6:15 p.m. | Exhibition hall (Poster corner)
SETAC research, i.e. all the research conducted by the members of this worldwide professional society, is aimed at one idea: improving environmental quality. All environmental scientists certainly would agree that this goal is directly connected to everyday lives. Hence, SETAC research matters to the people, it matters to stakeholders, and it matters to policies. But since it is so close to the expectations, opinions, fears and desires of a large variety of different target audiences, environmental research is difficult to communicate. Topics that directly touch someone’s sense of well-being are often taken on more emotional than actually necessary – or better say helpful. These topics have a tendency to go ‘viral’ on social media platforms, which can further blow them out of all rational proportion. Conversely, topics which may be perceived as prosaic can often be under-reported and evade the popular consciousness. The latter is particualarly problematic for topics that strongly matter to mankind but are perceived as inconvenient or even superfluous, such as sustainability. As a consequence, findings from environmental research can be readily misunderstood, or simply ignored, when not communicated in a proper way. Unfortunately, science and risk communication is often neither an element of education when becoming an environmental scientist, nor part of many scientist’s job description; let alone that there is time left for this on a daily basis. Nonetheless, science and risk communication play a more and more important role. Nowadays, project applications require including communication measures, and resulting projects are also evaluated regarding their outreach; universities urge their scientists to become visible for the general public; impact of research depends also on proper communication to stakeholders. Poor communication of risk can directly undermine public confidence in environmental science. That is why of course many SETAC members actually know about concepts, have made experiences, can tell success stories, and might have formed ideas regarding communicating their research – albeit it is not part of their regular research activities, and hence they do not report on such topics. This session is the platform for exactly that. We invite all SETAC members to submit platforms and posters that tell a success story and lessons learned, that depict a concept in a research proposal, that present cutting-edge communication research, that summarize experience over the last couple of years or the entire career, that introduce new ideas, that describe a best practice. And we would love to see the one question answered: Do you think it’s worth it? The session is sponsored by the Science and Risk Communication IG – SCIRIC.