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SETAC Europe 28th Annual Meeting, 13-17 May, Rome, Italy

The Scientific Committee of the 28th SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Rome (13-17 May 2018) has planned the session “Holistic Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Sediments and Soils Using Weight of Evidence Approaches”  (chairs: Sebastian Höss, Ute Feiler, Susanne Heise, Lucie Bielská) in track 4. Ecological risk assessment and human health risk assessment of chemicals, mixtures and stressors and risk mitigation strategies.

Abstract submission deadline is Wednesday 29 November 2017, submission site: https://rome.setac.org/programme/scientific-programme/call-for-abstracts/


Holistic Risk Assessment of Chemicals in Sediments and Soils Using Weight of Evidence Approaches
Sediments (freshwater and marine) and soils are a non-renewable resource that provides a habitat for a diverse range of organisms, thereby delivering unique ecosystem services. Therefore, they play a key role for the ecological status of aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and are a compartment of important biochemical transformations. On the other hand, sediments and soils represent both, a major sink and a potential source of persistent toxic substances in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Complex biochemical and ecological interactions occurring within sediments and soils require holistic approaches for protecting the respective habitat.
Among others, toxicity criteria are used to decide on the acceptability of dredged material relocation within the waters or the need for other disposal options, which may be considerably higher in their costs. Therefore, thorough sediment characterization is essential. If disposed to land, contaminated sediments also pose a risk to soil organisms, which should be assessed as well. 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 or soil quality triad, are widely accepted to assess the ecological risk of sediment and soil-bound contaminants. Besides chemical analysis and in-situ benthic or soil community assessment, toxicity testing with single species represents one line of evidence (LoE), which allows assessing cause-effect relationships. For sediments, whole-sediment exposure protocols representing realistic scenarios simulating in situ exposure conditions, as well as aquatic bioassays for testing aqueous extracts or pore water that were obtained from the sediments are currently part of the international guidelines for the assessment of sediment and dredged material. Also, other LoEs, such as effect-based sediment and soil quality guidelines (SQG) that are derived from toxicity and biotic data, as well as pollution sensitive biotic indices are able to link chemical and ecological status of sediments and soils.
In this session we would like to get an overview on the benefit of different lines of evidence helping to holistically assess the risk of chemicals in sediments and soils, including organisms from different organizational and trophic levels (bacteria, protozoa, algae, macrophytes, meio-, and macroinvertebrates). Abstracts relating sediment and soil toxicity testing and/or biotic indices with other LoEs for sediment or soil quality assessment are welcome.