The Task Force approached the assessment of the applicability of the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) framework (EFSA, 2010) as applied to a pesticide exposure scenario, to a broad range of chemicals and typical environmental exposure scenarios by working through four case studies, i.e. “learning by doing”. The focus on case studies enabled the Task Force to identify where the steps of the framework worked well and where development is needed. The four different case studies were selected to provide a range of emission scenarios and receptor habitats:
Oil refinery: Exposure of aquatic habitats, including wetlands to the chemicals present in waste water from a single refinery in an estuarine location.
Oil dispersants: Exposure from the use of dispersants in ocean and estuarine / transitional environments, not including the impact of spilt oil.
Down the drain chemicals: Continuous exposure of a wide range of ecosystems to a complex mixture of chemicals from the disposal of consumer products / pharmaceuticals via household waste systems into the municipal wastewater treatment / disposal infrastructure.
Persistent organic pollutants: Potential impacts to POP-type chemicals in remote (pristine) areas, e.g. high altitude alpine and Arctic regions. One chemical will be studied that has relevant properties.
A 5-step approach, similar to that of EFSA (2010), was used to identify habitats and ecosystem services potentially impacted by chemicals released into the environment. The approach is outlined in Figure 2.1 and each step is described in the following sections.
Figure 2.1: Stepwise process for specifying specific protection goals