The moderated discussion centred on the following three questions:
- Is the Task Force report and Landscaping document a useful resource? There was general agreement that the ECETOC Task Force work was a useful resource which could support ongoing efforts on exposure assessment within the OECD, the US EPA and the European Commission. There was an offer from representatives from these agencies to share the report and landscaping tool with interested parties within their organisations to provide comments and feedback to help ensure this work is inclusive and globally relevant. It was proposed and agreed that the work would benefit from the inclusion of a problem definition step and a decision tree describing (i) how to use the Landscaping Document and (ii) which data and tools are appropriate in context of the exposure tiers. It was suggested the kind of decision-tree logic used in Cefic LRI TAGs (Sarigiannis, 2012), PACEM (Dudzina, 2015) and DUSTEX (Delmaar, 2015) projects might be appropriate to include in the report to inform tiered exposure assessment on current availability and limitations of input data and exposure modelling tools. The ECETOC task force will consider these suggestions when revising the task force report following this workshop.
- Are all the main data sources covered? It was agreed that the OECD, US EPA, JRC and ECHA representatives at the workshop will explore how to distribute the landscaping document within their organisations to input on additional, relevant data sources. It was briefly discussed that crowd sourced exposure input (i.e. voluntarily reported) data is becoming more common on product concentrations (e.g. Codecheck) and consumer habits and practices and has potential value in estimating exposure in certain contexts. It was recognised that inherent uncertainties associated with such freely populated data sets need to be assessed and accounted for and more work is needed for establishing adequate quality control safeguards.
- How do we disseminate this information to make it useful for risk assessment? One suggestion (from the JRC) was that the European Committee for Standardization (CEN) enhance the development of model documentation in the European Standards format (EN) which sets out specifications and other technical information with regard to the model’s characteristics. Another suggestion was to build on the Wikipedia concept in a kind of “exposure-pedia” where stakeholders would be responsible for uploading information on benefits and limitations of the various exposure models and data. It was agreed that this concept should be investigated further – and that it would be important to build in quality control into such an initiative.