Find out about all our research papers, white papers, policy and journal publications.

Our Publications

Service areas: Pharmaceuticals,

Pharmaceuticals in the Environment: Is there a problem?

Thomas Senac (Sanofi) and I presented a paper on the risk of pharmaceuticals in the environment at the EU FP7 PHARMAS programme conference in Nimes in 2013. Our view is that pharmaceuticals as a group do not pose any significant threat to the environment, although individual pharmaceuticals may do so. The paper has just been published in Chemosphere.
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Service areas: EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Deriving site specific Quality Standards for metals

Pete and I have published a paper on an approach for deriving a site specific water EQS for zinc which takes account of both bioavailability and the composition of the local aquatic benthic macroinvertebrate community. This approach has the potential to be important, particularly in cases where costly programmes of measures are considered necessary to achieve compliance with a chemical quality standard, but where ecological quality is not impacted.
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Service areas: Bioavailability of Metals, EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Field validation of the nickel EQS

Pete, Graham, and I have just published a paper on validating the proposed EQS for nickel by a comparison against field evidence from the UK. Compliance with an EQS of 4 μg/L “bioavailable nickel” is highly unlikely to prevent communities achieving good ecological status.
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Service areas: Bioavailability of Metals, EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Ecological Indicators for abandoned metal mines

Metal mining in the UK has occurred for thousands of years and was widespread during the 18th and 19th centuries. This activity has resulted in a legacy of abandoned metal mine sites across the UK. We were recently commissioned by the Environment Agency to undertake a project to investigate whether conventional EQS are suitably protective of aquatic life in waterbodies impacted by abandoned metal mines, or if higher metal concentrations than the EQS can be acceptable in these waterbodies without risk to aquatic life. Importantly, we were asked to explore how these instances could be accommodated within the WFD to enable the status of the water body to be correctly classified. The results of this project are now available to download.
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Service areas: Waste Management,

Stability of Trace Substances in Wastewater Effluents

The results of a project investigating the stability of priority pollutants in wastewater effluents has been published in Analytical Letters. The project was undertaken as part of the UK Water Industry Chemicals Investigations Programme (CIP)
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Service areas: Bioavailability of Metals, EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Effects on iron on ecological communities

Mark and I have been working with the Iron industry to try to understand the effects of iron on aquatic ecosystems. We have been analysing extensive field monitoring data on the quality of invertebrate communities in rivers and relating this to the levels of different forms of iron (total, dissolved, or particulate) that are present.
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Biotic Ligand Model for Manganese

Biotic ligand models (BLMs) have become a very valuable aid to assessing the risks posed by metals in the aquatic environment, because they enable us to understand the effect of water quality on metal toxicity. Graham and I, along with Steve Lofts at the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, have been working with the Environment Agency and the International Manganese Institute to develop and validate BLMs for manganese.
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Silver levels in the aquatic environment

Pete, Graham, and I have been working with the Environment Agency and the European Precious Metals Federation to assess the levels of dissolved silver in the surface waters of England and Wales. The results of this work were used to estimate a “background” concentration of silver in the surface waters of England and Wales, which was calculated to be 6.1 ng l-1.
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Refinement of risk assessment for use in socioeconomic analysis under REACH

We were recently invited by the Luxembourg Environment Agency to undertake a short project to investigate the potential of candidate methods to translate conventional risk assessment outputs into metrics that could be more readily “valued” as part of a socioeconomic assessment.
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wca at SETAC Europe Milan 2011

Graham, Ed and I attended the SETAC Europe Conference in Milan last week. We’re sustaining members of SETAC Europe and, as always, it was nice to catch up with friends and colleagues at our stand, meet new people and attend some interesting sessions.
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Service areas: Bioavailability of Metals, EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Simplifying the implementation of bioavailability-based water quality standards for metals

Graham and I are continuing to work toward the practical implementation of bioavailability based water quality standards for trace metals, in collaboration with European researchers and the European Copper Institute.
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Service areas: Bioavailability of Metals, EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Soil Quality Standards for Trace Elements: Derivation, Implementation, and Interpretation

In 2008 a Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry-sponsored Technical Workshop was held in Sydney, Australia. The book of the deliberations from this workshop has now been published.
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Paper on Multicriteria Decision Analysis for Endocrine Active Substances

This paper has now been published. Members of SETAC can download it free, and an abstract is available to everyone.
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Service areas: Pharmaceuticals,

Green Chemistry in the Pharmaceutical Industry

A former colleague of mine, Dr Vyv Coombe and I have just published a chapter on the environmental and regulatory aspects of Green Chemistry and the Pharmaceutical Industry in a new book.
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wca at SETAC Europe in Seville

wca will once again be heading to SETAC Europe this year, which is hosted in Seville from the 23rd to the 27th of May.
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Service areas: Bioavailability of Metals, EQS Derivation & Implementation,

Regulatory Limits for Trace Elements in Soils

Albania and I have just had a chapter published on Regulatory Limits for Trace Elements in soils.
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Application of Uncertainty Analysis to Ecological Risks of Pesticides

A chapter I co-authored on statistical issues underlying the selection of distributions in probabilistic risk assessment has now been published by SETAC.
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Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis for Detecting the Effects of Endocrine Active Substances in Fish Life Cycle Tests

Mel and I have another paper with co-authors in a forthcoming issue of the SETAC journal Integrated Environmental Assessment & Management. This one is on the use of Multi-criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) for choosing between different test designs when performing fish full life cycle (FFLC) tests with potential endocrine active substances.
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Service areas: Waste Management,

Use of compost-like output from mechanical-biological treatment (MBT) plants

Dawn and I recently completed a review for the Environment Agency on compost-like outputs from MBT plants (follow this link for the full report). The main objectives of this review were to describe current EU practice for the production, regulation and use of compost-like outputs from MBT plants, with specific reference to their application to land. A further objective was to assess national differences in approaches across the EU and to attempt to establish why such differences exist.
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