SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
  10 May 2012
Volume 13 Issue 5

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Upcoming SETAC Europe Technical Workshop MODELINK: How to Use Ecological Effect Models to Link Ecotoxicological Tests to Protection Goals

Udo Hommen, Chair, MODELINK workshop organising committee

The Port of Le Croisic, France, site of the SETAC Europe MODELINK workshop.

The protection goals based on the ecosystem services concept are entering European Union guidance for ecological risk assessments of chemicals, first in the area of plant protection products. This means that there is a need for risk assessment approaches that can link standard ecotoxicological data to protection goals. Ecological modelling is a promising tool in environmental risk assessment because it offers the possibility to cover issues that cannot be dealt with in experiments undertaken for the purpose of risk assessment, whether laboratory or field studies. Particularly, ecological modelling allows extrapolation from laboratory conditions and test species to population level or community level under field conditions, thus providing better risk assessments. However, even when ecological models are available, there are currently no programmatic recommendations for how to apply them to risk assessments.

The general aim of the MODELINK workshop is to provide guidance for when and how to apply ecological models to regulatory risk assessments. Such guidance is essential because risk assessment questions, data and protection goals vary across chemicals, ecosystems and species and consequently the question of how to apply models to risk assessments is not trivial. The workshop is in two parts separated by a period of homework on case studies. The first part will take place 22—25 October 2012 in Le Croisic, France; the second in April 2013. The organising committee consists of 12 members from academia, industry and government and is chaired by Udo Hommen, Fraunhofer IME, Germany. Participation is by invitation only.

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