SETAC Globe - Environmental Quality Through Science
10 April 2014
Volume 15 Issue 4

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Bioavailability of Organic Chemicals: Linking Science to Risk Assessment and Regulation

Jose-Julio Ortega-Calvo, Spanish National Research Council, Joop Harmsen, Alterra Wageningen UR and John Parsons, University of Amsterdam on behalf of the SESSS10 Steering Committee

Did you know that SETAC Europe is organising a Special Science Symposium for later this year on bioavailability? SESSS10 will be held in the beautiful city of Brussels, Belgium from 14–15 October and will offer an attractive programme, available soon at If you are a regulator or work in industry and are aware that bioavailability is important for proper risk assessment, you should attend this symposium. As an academic, you should also be interested in knowing the applied sides of your present or future work on bioavailability.

The focus of the meeting is organic chemicals, and the objective is to provide solutions for the challenges regulators and industries are facing with handling bioavailability concepts during risk assessment. After 15 years of intensive research, science now provides us with solid understanding of how bioavailability of organic chemicals affects environmental quality, how bioavailability can be modelled and predicted and how to determine bioavailability through appropriate assays. SESSS10 provides an opportunity for attendees to exchange knowledge and experience on these issues and will try to facilitate the implementation of bioavailability in the management and regulation of chemicals (e.g., REACH) and polluted sites (including remediation). We will open the discussion to all environmental media where the bioavailability concept is needed, which includes water, soil, sediment, freshwater and marine—essentially the entire biosphere.

Due to the characteristics of the topic, SESSS10 is set up similarly to a workshop. Keynote speakers will begin each session with a presentation, providing food-for-thought to participants, followed by presentations of the steering committee members. Then, participants will be split into working groups to discuss and identify specific needs for each session topic. After each of the four sessions, roundtables will be organised with the speakers of the session to discuss the results from the working groups. Additionally, before the symposium, participants will receive a questionnaire to help create an inventory of needs and questions that can be addressed at the meeting. The objective is to capture stakeholders' concerns on bioavailability and provide them with solutions.

We hope to see you this fall in Brussels!

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