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SETAC Europe Sediment Session: Future challenges in sediment toxicity testing for environmental risk assessment

Posted By Paul K. Sibley, Monday, October 10, 2016

Dear SEDAG Members:


it is our pleasure to invite you to submit an abstract for a platform and/or poster presentation in the session on Future challenges in sediment toxicity testing for environmental risk assessment (under track 4-Ecological Risk Assessment and Human Health Risk Assessment of chemicals, other stressors and mixtures) at the next SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Brussels, Belgium, 7-11 May 2017. You will find the session summary at the end of this message.

Please note that the deadline for submission will be November 23, 2016.
Thanks in advance for your interest.
We are really looking forward to reading your abstract and hopefully to seeing you at the SETAC Europe 2017 Annual Meeting in Belgium!



Your Sessions Chairs,

Daniel Faber - Bayer CropScience AG
Paul Sibley - School of Environmental Sciences, University of Guelph
Theo Brock – Alterra,  Wageningen University and Research
Hank Krueger - Wildlife International



---Session Summary---


Sediment toxicity testing is gaining an increasing awareness within the scientific community. In 2015, a scientific opinion on environmental risk assessment for sediment organisms was published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)1. This scientific opinion is of high interest for risk assessors and aquatic ecotoxicologists because so far, only the Tier 1 risk assessment for sediment organisms was addressed in the existing aquatic guidance document published in 2013 by EFSA2. In addition the European CHemicals Agency (ECHA) updated the sediment part of the “Guidance on Information Requirements & Chemical Safety Assessment”3 in February 2016. The number of currently available standardized and validated OECD guidelines is limited. These tests mainly cover invertebrates (e.g. Chironomus riparius, Lumbriculus variegatus). One adopted guideline on a sediment test with the macrophyte Myriophylum is available. In addition, a few ISO sediment guidelines are available, e.g. for the nematode Caenorhabdites elegans. 4
In North America, sediment toxicity is considered differently within the risk assessment as reflected by the ASTM and US EPA guidelines. In addition, a higher number of standardised test methods are available (e.g. Hyalella azteca, Chironomus dilutus, Leptocheirus plumulosus). There are a number of important differences between the OECD and US EPA guidelines5, including the use of field collected or artificial sediment, equilibration time, and flow-through or static test design. These test method differences lead to changes in the physico-chemistry of the sediment, in the bioavailability of the test compound, and the concentrations of the test substance in the overlying water, pore water, and bulk sediment. Due to these differences, the test results of studies performed according to OECD and US EPA test methods are difficult to compare.
In recent years, it has been discussed which matrix (pore water, water, sediment, bulk sediment, total loading) should be used to determine effects endpoints. Most test organisms are epi-benthic and live on the sediment surface and not within the sediment. A clear correlation between pore water concentrations and observed effects does not exist. Therefore, being aware of discrepancies between OECD and North American methods on the one hand and between EFSA and ECHA guidances on the other hand, some common issues need to be considered, including the relevant route of exposure, as well as how to express test results to be used in the risk assessment.
Within the session, we will address the differences between the guidelines and the consequences of the different approaches for an ERA using data from both sources and guidance. As the bioavailability in the different test systems is not directly comparable and different main uptake pathways exist for the different taxonomic groups and species, it should be discussed whether approaches as lined out in the scientific opinion are practically feasible.
1“Scientific Opinion on the effect assessment for pesticides on sediment organisms in edge-of-field surface water” EFSA, 2015
2“Guidance on tiered RA for plant protection products for aquatic organisms in edge-of-field surface waters” EFSA, 2013.
3 “Guidance on Information Requirements & Chemical Safety Assessment” ECHA, 2016
4 “International Organization for Standardization guideline 10872, 2010”
5 “Toxicity Testing and Ecological Risk Assessment Guidance for Benthic Invertebrates” US-EPA, 2014

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Free Resource: "SEDIMENT QUALITY ASSESSMENT: A Practical Guide"

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Thursday, September 22, 2016

Free Download:


"Environmental practitioners are seeking guidance on how to incorporate the latest science in their assessment of contaminated sediments, while relating their investigations to the recommended guideline frameworks, and proposed new or revised guideline values for sediment quality, at a time when the science is still being developed. This handbook therefore attempts to summarise the advances and provide information to guide future sediment quality assessment investigations. The book both reviews the existing literature and recommends best ways to apply these findings, while describing approaches for measuring the various lines of evidence. As new lines of evidence are continuing to be developed, future sediment quality assessments may also incorporate those. A general approach is proposed, recognising that assessments frequently need to be custom-designed and lines of evidence chosen to suit the site-specific circumstances (such as site dynamics, sediment stability, groundwater flows, and fluctuating overlying water conditions). The focus on sediment quality assessment, at least in Australia, has largely been in estuarine and coastal marine environments, but the principles are equally applicable to freshwater systems, and guidance is therefore also provided in this book for freshwater toxicity testing and ecological assessment procedures for freshwater environments."

Stuart L. Simpson Graeme E. Batley

Tags:  resources 

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Sediment Advisory Group Meeting

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Monday, September 12, 2016

Hello SETAC Sediment Advisory Group members.  We have been assigned a meeting time and place in Orlando:

Wed. November 9, 12:00-1:00 PM, St. John's 30.

Please join if you can and invite others who may be interested in sediments.  For those who have a conflict we can try to catch up at another point during the meeting.  Hope to see as many of you as possible in Orlando!  Thanks, Tamara

Tags:  meeting  orlando  sediment  SETAC-NA 

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Consider submitting an abstract for the sediment session (Nov 2016): Science of Sediment Toxicity Testing: Method Advances, Interpreting Results and Use of Data in Ecological Risk Assessments

Posted By Teresa J. Norberg-King, Sunday, May 22, 2016

We are organizing a session "Science of Sediment Toxicity Testing: Method Advances, Interpreting Results and Use of Data in Ecological Risk Assessments".  

Conducting laboratory toxicity tests with field collected sediments remains a primary tool for retrospective assessment of potentially contaminated sites, but there is also an increasing use of spiked sediment testing for prospective risk assessment of pesticides and other commercial products. Various acute, short-term and chronic toxicity testing guidelines for freshwater (Chironomus, Hyalella) and marine (Leptocheirus) organisms are available. The guidelines have applicability for both prospective and retrospective risk assessment. Substantial progress has been made in improving the consistency, reproducibility and data quality of tests, substantial effort towards advancing these methods. Data interpretation and the establishment of causal relationships between exposure and effects are made challenging by the multitude of factors that influence bioavailability as well as non-contaminant related variables that may affect test organism performance (e.g., sediment grain size, type and quantity of organic carbon, feeding regimes, overlying water types and frequency, predators). If sediment toxicity data is to be used for prospective risk assessment of pesticides or other potential benthic contaminants, there is a need to establish definitive effect thresholds for species based on quantification of exposure in various matrices within test systems (i.e. sediment, pore water, and overlying water). However, quantification of highly hydrophobic chemicals in pore water can be analytically challenging. Therefore, alternatives for estimating exposure may be needed, such as the application of equilibrium partitioning theory. The goal of this session is to highlight applied and theoretical innovations associated with sediment toxicity testing, including but not limited to the topics above, to improve test performance, interpretation of study results, and reduce uncertainty in the application of sediment toxicity data for ecological risk assessment. 

Please contact me if you have any questions or want to discuss ideas for the session!  

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Presentation and Publication Opportunities

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Monday, March 07, 2016

Lisa Richman of MOE has proposed a session that she has asked me to co-chair on Monitoring to be held  at the next Battelle Sediments conference "Ninth International Conference on Remediation and Management of Contaminated Sediments" Jan.  2017 in New Orleans.

As more sites move into the remedial phase, appropriate monitoring to  assess endpoints and effectiveness is increasingly critical.  We invite everyone to consider submitting an abstract for this great conference.

In addition, in my capacity on the editorial board of Current Pollution Reports, I am  always seeking articles on sediments.   CPR  is a relatively new Springer journal and publishing is a wonderful opportunity to get your ideas and name out there.  Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any ideas for an article and I'll be happy to give you some specifics.

Finally let me know if anyone is planning to be in Nantes ( I will not be, regrettably)  Currently I do not know if we have an Advisory Group meeting set up (Stuart?) but I can look into it if there are a few of you who would like to meet up.  If you prefer to organize something something less formal you can use this blog to do it, and please do report back to the whole group on any outcomes.  

Thank you!

Tags:  Battelle; Current Pollution Reports (CPR) 

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Sediment Risk Management

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Friday, February 26, 2016

As we discussed late last year and at the SETAC meeting in Nov., we are kicking off a Work Group under the Sediment Advisory Group to address the risk management side of things.  A number  of you have previously  expressed an interest in this topic and have been already contacted via e-mail.   I will be sending this same post to the Ecological Risk Assessment AG (ERAAG) so I apologize for the duplication if you are subscribed to both.    

I’d like to get this moving and set up a call for March.  There are a variety of aspects we could pursue and I thought once we have a working team we can set up calls, webinars, and surveys to solidify our group objectives.


Possible topics:

·        Establishment of Remedial Action Objectives (qualitative)

·        Development of clean-up goals (quantitative)

·        Integration of risk into remedial alternative/technology evaluation

·        Attainment of long-term risk objectives

·        Establishment of monitoring objectives

·        Development and implementation of monitoring programs


Possible Work Group products:

·        Sponsor/organize SETAC Global meeting sessions and presentations

·        Coordinate or promote sessions with other organizations (SETAC chapters, Battelle sediments, SRA, SWMG, etc.,); in particular an ASTM Task Group for Sediment Corrective Action has kicked off.  I have joined this team and plan to participate remotely.  We should be aware of what they are doing and see if we can dovetail or integrate our activities. 

·        White papers

·        Journal articles

·        Technical guidance (probably a bit ambitious)

·        Workshops

·        What else?

Tags:  clean-up  remediation  risk  sediment 

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SEDAG Going Forward

Posted By Tamara L. Sorell, Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Happy New Year from SETAC Sediment Advisory Group!  It’s time to start thinking about activities and ideas for 2016.  As most of you know, we have several working groups under the SEDAG umbrella.  We are planning a new Risk Management (Remediation) working group (information about that will be sent separately). 

Normally we meet at the annual SETAC North America and Europe meetings.  Should we be sponsoring activities at local Chapter meetings?  Holding periodic calls?  Sponsoring webinars?  Please post any ideas for other groups or activities.  Thank you!

Tags:  2016 

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SEDAG Meeting at SLC

Posted By Paul K. Sibley, Monday, October 26, 2015
Dear SEDAGers;

SETAC Salt Lake City is less than a week away. For those of you who plan to attend the meeting, this is a reminder that the SEDAG meeting will be held Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 in Room 251F. The agenda for the meeting is listed below. I look forward to seeing you there!

Paul Sibley


1) Brief update on the years activities - Paul Sibley
2) The spiked sediment initiative (update and focus) - Steve Bay
3) Discussion on the new Sediment Management Workgroup - Tamara Sorell
4) Harmonization of freshwater sediment toxicity methods - Chris Ingersoll
5) New SEDAG chair needed and new SEDAG steering committee members needed
6) Session announcements for SETAC Europe and call for sessions for SETAC 2016 in Orlando.
7) Other?

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Call for abstracts SETAC Europe: Future challenges for the effect and risk assessment of plant protection products with respect to sediment organisms

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Friday, October 09, 2015

Dear SEDAG Colleagues;

 It is my pleasure to invite you to submit an abstract for a platform and/or poster presentation in the session on Future challenges for the effect and risk assessment of plant protection products with respect to sediment organisms at the next SETAC Europe Annual Meeting in Nantes, France, 22-26 May 2016. You will find the session summary attached to this message.

 The session will be chaired by:

 Daniel Faber - Bayer CropScience AG

Paul Sibley - University of Guelph

Theo Brock - Alterra Wageningen

Hank Krueger - Wildlife International


Please note that the call for abstracts will be open 5 October 2015 and the deadline for submission will be November 25, 2015.

 Thanks in advance for your interest. We hope to see you at the SETAC Europe 2016 Annual Meeting in Nantes!"


 Daniel, Hank, Theo, and Paul

 Attached Files:

Tags:  2015  Nantes  SETAC-EU 

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SEDAG and ASTM E50.47: Meetings at Salt Lake City

Posted By Trudy Watson-Leung, Wednesday, October 07, 2015

1) SEDAG meeting: Wednesday November 4, 2015 from 7 to 8:30 am in Room 251F in the Conference Center. Topics to be discussed will include the SEDAG activities to develop a spiked-sediment toxicity database and SEDAG activities to harmonized freshwater sediment toxicity methods.

2) ASTM Subcommittee E50.47 on Biological Effects and Fate:  Tuesday November 3, 2015,  7 to 8:30 am in Room 251F in the Conference Center (see attached draft agenda).  A primary discussion topic during the E50.47 meeting will be draft revisions to USEPA 2000 and ASTM E1706 dealing with methods for conducting sediment toxicity tests with freshwater invertebrates (including refined reproductive methods for amphipods and midges and new ASTM methods for freshwater mussels).


Download File (DOC)

Tags:  2015  ASTM  meeting  Salt Lake City  SETAC-NA 

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