May 16, 2018 by Graham Merrington & Iain Wilson

On Tuesday afternoon at SETAC, a session titled ‘Derivation, validation and implementation of environmental quality benchmarks’ was chaired by Kenny Leung, Bryan Brooks and Michael Warne. Presentations from Marion Junghans and Muris Korkaric from EWAG, Switzerland, addressed the inappropriate use of annual average EQS use for PPP exposures and the lessons learned from the revision of Swiss EQSs, respectively. Alice James of INERIS considered how Endocrine Disruption was accounted for in Water Framework Directive EQSs and Rick van Dam of ERISS, in Australia, new probabilistic approaches to extrapolating ecotoxicity data to derive hazardous concentrations. Graham Merrington of wca focused on the inconsistency of EQS from different regulatory jurisdictions for the same substances – why do such differences exist, and made an appeal for greater transparency in documentation and collaboration between industry, academics and regulators in working to deliver better environmental protection. Finally, Michael Warne of the University of Queensland outlined ideas for closer working relationships internationally in to break the continuous repeating cycle of EQS derivations for the same chemicals in different parts of the world. From these presentations ideas are being put to SETAC to become the vehicle of this further collaboration, especially in the early stages of derivation of limits and benchmarks, to foster collaborations in data collation and assessment, that can take 60% of the time taken to develop an value.

wca also presented three posters; Becky Brown presented a poster on ‘Effects based tools for use in conjunction with passive samplers for surface water monitoring of refinery discharges’ (TU314) in the ‘Use of Effect Based Methods in the context of the national and European legislative framework for the protection of aquatic ecosystems’ session.

Iain Wilson presented posters on ‘Lead exposures in European Freshwaters; are they a risk? A regulatory assessment accounting for bioavailability’ (TU198) and 'Assessing compliance of European freshwaters for copper: accounting for bioavailability’ (TU199) in the ‘Derivation, Validation and Implementation of Environmental Quality Benchmarks’ session.