Moving persistence (P) assessments into the 21st Century: Developing a new paradigm to assess degradation potential of chemicals


Recent progress in the scientific understanding of the underlying processes of persistence and degradation has provided an opportunity to develop an improved framework and best practices for persistence and degradation assessments.

Recent research activities have covered topics such as: Role of microbial community in degradation testing (adaptation, variability); Challenges in conduct and interpretation of simulation tests, including considerations regarding bioavailability and system-dependent variation; Non-extractable residues formation; Effect of concentration, co-metabolism and temperature on degradation kinetics.

Terms of Reference

  1. Revisit the principles for P assignments of organic chemicals in the context of new research
  2. Review recent research activities and assimilate the key aspects to improve and expand experimental design and strategies
  3. Translate the key research findings into a framework document considering new concepts relating to defining persistence
  4. Identify gaps and propose follow-up work/ research projects to fill those gaps

Timing and deliverables

The Task Force held their kick-off meeting in July 2019, and aims to complete their work by end 2020.

The deliverables of the work will be two publications in scientific peer reviewed journals. The two publications will comprise a perspectives paper and a methods paper.

The Task Force is co-chairing the joint session “Persistent (P) and PMT/vPvM Substances in the Environment: Improving Experimental and Weight of Evidence Assessment Methods, Providing Solutions, and Informing Regulations” at SETAC Dublin 2020 and is welcoming abstract submissions (deadline 27 November 2019).

 It is anticipated that the outcome of this Task Force will be used as a basis for a workshop with stakeholders (e.g. ECHA, National Regulators, Industry etc.).