Decision Orientated Risk Assessment of Chemicals  
Date: Wednesday 25 th June 2003

For a full report of the day's events, as well as copies of the presentations and photos, please refer to the bottom of this page.

Professor Hungerbuhler showed that the European chemicals 'portfolio' consists of over 100 000 products, the majority of which have no available toxicity data. Full risk assessments have been made on very few, but the new Chemicals Policy will extend assessment requirements. Resources for full assessment are limited, said Professor Hungerbuhler, so it is clear that criteria need to be developed to prioritise testing and assessment. In assessing risk, there are a number of problems: the number of chemicals and chemical containing products; the exhibitive cost and lengthy process of full risk assessments; the highly complex nature of ecosystems and environments; and the highly complex nature of chemical use patterns - in particular for consumers.

Hungerbuhler introduced the global model 'ChemRange', which has been developed to study the duration and mobility of chemicals in the environment. The model delivers concentration in soil, water and air over time. Plots of the spatial range or distribution of a chemical against its persistence or residence time could give a useful and quick screening tool to prioritise targets for testing. The model was further developed to include transformation products of chemicals which are often neglected in risk assessments but can have a significant overall impact.

Models using scenario building are useful for occupational and consumer exposure, said Hungerbuhler. These models need relatively few parameters but give calculations of inhaled and dermal exposure of individuals and are combined with population figures.

  Speaker: Professor Konrad Hungerbühler  

Professor Konrad Hungerbühler, Professor of Safety and Environmental Technology in the Chemical Engineering department ETH, Zurich

  Hosting MEP: Mrs. Dagmar Roth-Behrendt  

Dagmar Roth-Behrendt , MEP is a member of the Sozialdemokratische Partei Deutschlands and sits with the Party of European Socialists (PSE) in the European Parliament. She is a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, Public Health and Consumer Policy and is involved in promoting relationships between the EU and Australia and New Zealand. She has been the PSE's spokesperson on environment, health policy and consumer protection since 1989. Frau Roth-Behrendt was chair of the European Parliament's Committee of Inquiry into BSE.

  Co-sponsor: SETAC  
  The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC), a global professional, nonprofit organization is comprised of more than 5,000 individuals from more than 70 countries in the fields of environmental chemistry and toxicology, biology, ecology, atmospheric sciences, health sciences, earth sciences, and environmental engineering. Members are involved in diverse areas such as environmental education, research, environmental management, regulation, life-cycle assessment risk assessment, and chemical manufacture and distribution. SETAC's members are drawn equally from academia, regulatory bodies and industry. The Society has operating units in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America and Africa.

Click on thumbnails to view larger photographs.

Mrs. Dagmar Roth-Behrendt (MEP), Profesor Konrad Hungerbühler and Bart Bosveld Mrs. Dagmar Roth-Behrendt Prof. Hungerbuhler Representatives from industry, the Parliament, the Commission and scientific institutions attended the seminar
  Documents to download  
Full Report
SETAC presentation
Prof. Hungerbühler presentation
  Profesor Konrad Hungerbühler
  Hosting MEP:  
  Dagmar Roth-Behrendt
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