January 29, 2018 by Adam Peters and Graham Merrington

Adam and Graham were invited to attend a SETAC Workshop on Bioavailability-Based Freshwater Quality Criteria for Metals from 3-7 December 2017. The meeting was initiated by the USEPA and was aimed at reviewing and advancing the state-of-the-science for characterizing metal bioavailability in aquatic environments and the models that are available for predicting metal bioavailability and toxicity for the purpose of criteria derivation and application. While the meeting had a strong USEPA focus, scientists from Europe, Canada and Australia also attended.

The format of the meeting was for subgroups to work on specific challenges to delivering the meeting goals. Adam’s group was focussed upon determining the extent to which empirically-based models can offer simpler ways of addressing metals bioavailability and toxicity. Graham was part of the group providing recommendations on how bioavailability could be applied and implemented within the current USEPA 1985 framework.

A series of papers will be published on the workshop and a session is planned at SETAC Rome in May (Environmental effects of metals: Improvements to risk assessment by considering speciation and bioavailability) where the outputs from the workshop will be presented.