CEA has proposed 3 sessions for SETAC Dublin in May 2020 and we invite you to submit abstracts

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CEA has proposed 3 sessions for SETAC Dublin in May 2020 and we invite you to submit abstracts

The call for abstracts for SETAC Dublin has now begun, as announced on the SETAC Dublin website.

Colleagues from CEA will be co-chairing three sessions at the conference next year, on the following topics:


Sediment risk assessment - Regulatory challenges for biocides, REACH and other chemicals

(Track 6: Environmental policy, risk management, and science communication)

Co-chairs: Claire McMillan, Paul Mason, Jaana Laitinen

Sediment is a complex system acting as a source of chemical contaminants as well as a sink. Sediment exposure to chemicals is driven by chemical use patterns (e.g. urban, rural), physical-chemical properties of the substance, the local pelagic and benthic system as well as numerous environmental fate processes (e.g. sorption, dissipation, settling rates etc.). This complex system contrasts with the standardised exposure and hazard assessments used in the regulatory risk assessment of biocides and chemicals assessed under REACH which are simplistic models assuming instantaneous and homogenous partitioning and mixing within the sediment layer. A standardised scenario is often assumed which doesn’t account for the variation in sediment properties that can be seen within member states and across Europe. Regarding hazard assessment, the Equilibrium Partitioning Method (EPM) is often applied as a screening level method to estimate effects to sediment organisms. Some of these considerations were discussed at an ECHA Scientific Workshop on Risk Assessment for the Sediment Compartment in 2013 and EFSA published a Scientific Opinion on the effect assessment for pesticides on sediment organisms in edge-of-field surface water in 2015. Given this background, it is timely to review the current status of regulatory risk assessment for the sediment compartment (particularly for biocides, chemicals registered under REACH and veterinary medicines), consider more recent scientific developments and their applicability to solving more complex regulatory issues in relation to hazard and exposure assessment. This session aims to 1) discuss the challenges and data gaps that result from lower tier methods used in regulatory risk assessments for sediment and comparing approaches across regulatory frameworks (e.g. biocides, REACH, PPP); 2) examine higher tier exposure estimation approaches that could be adopted to address these challenges (e.g. modelling additional environmental fate processes, taking account of spatial datasets and modelling approaches); 3) discuss higher tier ecotoxicology testing options for refining sediment risk assessments, such as modified exposure studies that better reflect the predicted exposure pathways. The session welcomes experiences from across regulatory areas (e.g. biocides, pesticides and other chemicals), and views from all sectors (industry, consultancy, government and academia).


Challenges in the future of higher tier aquatic studies in regulatory risk assessment

(Track 6: Environmental policy, risk management, and science communication)

Co-chairs: Nadine Taylor, Seamus Taylor, Rene Gergs, Daniel Pickford

The objective of this session is to address the changing landscape in the use of higher tier aquatic studies in regulatory risk assessment. Higher tier approaches to aquatic studies are used to refine regulatory risk assessments by increasing the ecological realism and reducing uncertainty associated with deriving regulatory acceptable concentrations (RACs). Currently there is a move towards more integrated catchment and landscape level risk assessment where higher tier studies can be particularly useful. However, there is some uncertainty around how these approaches can be successfully implemented within the current risk assessment framework. Key areas of interest here are the connectivity of water bodies, the potential for (re)colonisation and concerns over multiple stressors within a catchment. The topics in this session may cover experimental design and method development, advanced data analysis and extrapolation, regulatory acceptability of endpoints and the proposal of new approaches. Mesocosm studies are generally considered as the benchmark higher tier approach for assessing effects on aquatic organisms, with the possible exception of vertebrate studies, generating complex data sets from populations and communities under semi-field conditions. Historically, an additional benefit of mesocosms was the potential to assess recovery, however, in recent years, the acceptability of regulatory acceptable concentrations based on recovery (ERO-RACs) has become more limited. This session intends to review the current approaches to higher tier aquatic testing such as the use of mesocosms and the acceptability and constraints of recovery endpoints as well as proposals for a new effect class system and discussions on potential over-conservatism in current approaches. Other areas of interest include the use and acceptability of pulsed-dose studies (including multiple pulse-dose scenarios), testing non-standard species for risk assessment and the relevance of EPT taxa, the use of life history or trait based endpoints or changes in food web interactions and any other areas that are currently missing consideration in the aquatic risk assessment framework. In addition, the increased complexity of higher tier approaches means further consideration should be given to advanced data analysis, data interpretation using knowledge of the life histories of aquatic organisms, the use of historical control data and multivariate analysis and population modelling options in the context of future relevance for risk assessment. This session would greatly benefit from the input of stakeholders in academia, industry and regulation to share perspectives on the current status of higher tier aquatic testing and the development of new approaches to this field going forwards.


Refinement of the risk to birds and mammals from plant protection products: Higher tier studies and approaches

(Track 6: Environmental policy, risk management, and science communication)

Co-chairs: Juan Pascual, Amy C. Brooks, Manousos Foudoulakis, Jacoba Wassenberg

The procedures for the evaluation of the risk to birds and mammals from plant protection products (PPPs) in the European Union are under re-evaluation and expansion. The Guidance Document (GD) on the risk assessment for birds and mammals for plant protection products (EFSA 2009)1 is under revision and a recent EFSA document has indicated the need for developing a new risk assessment scheme specific for bats (EFSA 2019)2. The documents published by EFSA on this area suggest that the approaches, criteria and methodology for conducting and interpreting higher tier studies for risk refinement are not always agreed among the relevant expert community (regulators, industry, contract laboratories and academia). For instance, a major compilation of data (publications and confidential industry reports) done at the request of EFSA concluded that the quality of many studies used for regulatory decisions in the EU could be improved (Lahr et al. 2018)3. Some of these topics were addressed in a successful session that took place at SETAC Europe 2019 (‘Revision of the EFSA Guidance Document on Birds and Mammals’). The purpose of the session proposed for SETAC Europe 2020 is a follow-up of the session in the previous year but with a more targeted focus on higher tier studies and approaches. Contributions on complex semi-field or field studies to refine ecological parameters (selection of focal species, composition of the diet (PD) and relative use by focal species of fields treated with PPPs (PT)), residue decline, avoidance, etc. are welcome. In addition to topics on study design and data generation, the session would also cover the subsequent interpretation of studies and their use in regulatory risk assessments. The main objectives of this session would be (1) to give regulators, academia, industry and contract laboratories the opportunity to share results from recent studies and present approaches to improve their scientific quality and regulatory acceptance, (2) to discuss novel approaches for undertaking and presenting higher tier risk assessments based on semi-field/field studies, public literature and/or desk-based refinements and (3) to serve as a platform to develop further joint initiatives contributing to better study quality for inclusion in the future EFSA risk assessments for birds and mammals (including bats). 1EFSA (2009). EFSA Journal 2009; 7(12):1438. [139 pp.]. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2009.1438; 2EFSA (2019). EFSA Journal 2019;17(7):5758, 81 pp.; 3Lahr et al. (2018). External Scientific Report. EFSA supporting publication 2018:EN-1513. 155 pp.


We encourage you to read our session proposals and submit an abstract – without enough abstracts, the sessions won’t go ahead!

The deadline for abstract submission is Wednesday 27 November 2019, 23:59 CET.

If you have questions about any of these sessions, please feel free to contact us.


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