From Bioavailability Science to Regulation of Organic Chemicals


Ortega-Calvo JJ, Harmsen J, Parsons JR, Semple KT, Aitken MD, Ajao C, Eadsforth C, Galay Burgos M, Naidu R, Oliver R, Peijnenburg WJ,, Römbke J, Streck G, Versonnen B. 2015.
From Bioavailability Science to Regulation of Organic Chemicals.
Environmental Science & Technology 49(17):10255?10264 (Open Access)
DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b02412

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The bioavailability of organic chemicals in soil and sediment is an important area of scientific investigation for environmental scientists, although this area of study remains only partially recognized by regulators and industries working in the environmental sector. Regulators have recently started to consider bioavailability within retrospective risk assessment frameworks for organic chemicals; by doing so, realistic decision-making with regard to polluted environments can be achieved, rather than relying on the traditional approach of using total-extractable concentrations. However, implementation remains difficult because scientific developments on bioavailability are not always translated into ready-to-use approaches for regulators. Similarly, bioavailability remains largely unexplored within prospective regulatory frameworks that address the approval and regulation of organic chemicals. This article discusses bioavailability concepts and methods, as well as possible pathways for the implementation of bioavailability into risk assessment and regulation; in addition, this article offers a simple, pragmatic and justifiable approach for use within retrospective and prospective risk assessment.