Science Newsflash: Publication of ECETOC Workshop Report assessing Environmental Persistence

Brussels, December 2013

The ability of certain chemicals to persist in the environment is an issue of global concern that requires careful consideration in environmental risk assessment. This is especially true when this characteristic is coupled with bioaccumulative and toxicological properties. Assessing the persistence of chemicals substances in the environment is not straightforward since it cannot be measured directly. ECETOC has been actively involved in developing the scientific understanding of factors that affect the persistence of chemicals in the environment for over 15 years. The aim of this workshop, that attracted scientists from industry, regulatory agencies and academia from Europe and North America, was to review progress and output of research activities conducted in the last 6 years and to plan future research programmes which will contribute further to chemical safety and the risk assessment of chemical substances.

Using evidence from a number of laboratory studies and regulators experiences of persistency assessments made in the initial phases of REACH, the participants of the workshop concluded that good progress is being made but there are still significant challenges in developing appropriate techniques to assess the persistence of both single and complex substances.

The information and ideas developed at the Workshop adds to the knowledge base that will ultimately result in improvements in human and environmental risk assessment.

A description and the findings of the Workshop can be found in ECETOC Workshop Report no.24, Assessing Environmental Persistence, and can be downloaded without charge via

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ECETOC is Europe‘s leading industry association for developing and promoting top-quality science in human and environmental risk assessment of chemicals.