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Assessing the risk of Plant Protection Products for the Aquatic Environment Event Preview

Edge of Field water flow

19 March 2018

Venue: Fera, Sand Hutton, York
Date: Thursday 5 July 2018

Further to the National Environment Research Council’s call for proposals entitled ‘Emerging Risks of Chemicals in the Environment’, this workshop will focus on the need to make step-changes in chemical safety assessment and monitoring.

There is currently an initiative to drive forward transitions in predictions of how the environment and its functioning will respond to chemical exposure, with a particular focus in the UK. The NERC’s call aimed to find ways to make the ecological relevance of methodologies and sustainability of ecosystems more central to risk assessment and monitoring programmes. It sought to better understand the relative importance of chemical stressors and other stressors, and also to improve the characterisation of the impacts of stressors on ecosystem services by developing more holistic, relevant and cost-effective approaches.
The relevance of the approaches used for risk assessment is a continuing regulatory, political, and industry challenge, not least in the aquatic environment – even though this compartment has been subject to the longest and most intensive study. 

Various methodologies are currently employed to assess risk and monitor consequences, from intensive national surveys of biota (e.g. under the European Water Framework Directive), through expensive water sampling and chemical analysis programmes (e.g. the UK Water Industry Research Chemicals Investigation Programmes), to complex modelling strategies (e.g. the Forum for the Co-ordination of Pesticide Fate Models and their Use) and trials to simulate risk to whole aquatic ecosystems (e.g. European Food Safety Authority guidance on High Tier Ecotoxicological hazard assessments).

This workshop is an opportunity to hear about the problems encountered and solutions proposed by those working in the field of aquatic risk assessment.  One such proposed solution is currently under development by Fera Science Ltd and the Centre for Crop Health and Protection; the Innovate UK-funded E-Flows Mesocosm – the first fully flow-through field scale mesocosm for higher-tier risk assessments. Linking subjects include passive chemical monitoring techniques, refinements in fate modelling approaches and genetic taxonomy methodologies. 

We hope you can attend and engage with ideas generation and debate towards better environmental monitoring and regulations!

Confirmed speakers include:

  • Dr Rachel Benstead, Fera Science Ltd
  • Dr Neil Boonham, University of Newcastle
  • Prof. Gary Fones, University of Portsmouth
  • Dr Dan Pickford, Syngenta
  • Chris Taylor, Chemicals Regulation Division

A variety of networking activities will take place throughout the day, culminating in a networking drinks reception.

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