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Exposure Modeling Advisory Group (EMAG)
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2011 EMAG Report

What is EMAG?

The Exposure Modeling Advisory Group (EMAG) is an advisory group within the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) that is accountable to the SETAC World Council. The group was established in May, 2008 to provide a collegial home within the Society for scientists and decision-makers interested in modeling the properties, sources, environmental fate and exposure of environmental pollutants.

Objectives of the EMAG

The Exposure Modeling Advisory Group is committed to the founding principles of SETAC, 1) A multidisciplinary approach to solving environmental problems, 2) A balanced representation of academia, business and government, and 3) Science-based objectivity. The goals of the EMAG group are threefold:

  1. To encourage the scientific development of quantitative models that describe the behavior and exposure pathways of chemical, biological and physical contaminants in the environment and for human and ecological populations. Examples include, but are not limited to, models of source-to-concentration relationships in defined systems, models to estimate overall persistence and long-range transport potential of contaminants, models of bioaccumulation of contaminants by individual organisms or in food webs, models of human exposure to chemicals, biological agents or nanomaterials by multiple pathways, and pharmacokinetic models of the distribution of chemicals, biological agents and nanomaterials in the bodies of exposed humans or animals.
  2. To encourage the development of a sound data-basis to support the application of models in scientific studies and policy-making activities for chemicals, biological agents and nanomaterials of environmental interest. This includes: 1) physical properties and degradation rates, 2) emissions inventories, and 3) monitoring data for environmental media (air, water, soil, sediments and vegetation) and biota from locations near areas of use and release and at remote, background sites.
  3. To encourage and support the use of scientifically sound models by decision-makers to formulate effective management of chemicals, biological agents and nanomaterials, and by scientists to more effectively interpret monitoring data on contaminant concentrations in the environment.

EMAG Background and History

An advisory group for environmental fate and exposure modeling has existed in some form within SETAC for over 15 years. A group was initially formed in the mid-1990s, with Professor Don Mackay (Trent University, Canada) as the first chairperson, and was an outcome of a Pellston Workshop on multimedia modeling of environmental contaminants. The group was originally accountable to the North American branch of SETAC. Under Don’s leadership the group was active in the late 1990s with scientific sessions at the annual meetings in North America, and regular communication through the SETAC Globe. Around 2000, the chairpersonship of the group was passed to Dr. Debbie Bennett (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA) who organized both social and scientific meetings of the advisory group at SETAC conferences in North America and edited the Globe column. In about 2003, Dr. Randy Maddelena (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, USA) took over as chairperson, and in 2005 Dr. Matthew MacLeod (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Switzerland) joined as co-chairperson. Dr. MacLeod took over as chairperson of the North American Fate and Exposure Modeling Advisory Group in 2006.

In 2007 a proposal to establish the Exposure Modeling Advisory Group as at the Global level of SETAC was drafted by existing members of the North American group and volunteers recruited at the SETAC Europe meeting. The proposal was accepted by the SETAC World Council at their meeting in May of 2008, and the EMAG group in its current form was officially born.

Organization of the EMAG

The Exposure Modeling Advisory Group is lead by a Chairperson and a Steering Committee who are SETAC members, and are appointed by the President of SETAC. The Chairperson and the Steering Committee provide leadership and initiative to carry out the goals of the Group, and co-ordinate their activities through meetings at the SETAC conferences and regular communication by email. Membership in the EMAG is open to all interested persons, whether they are SETAC members or not.

The EMAG steering committee for 2009 is:
Matthew MacLeod (Chairperson), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland
Joseph DePinto, LimnoTech, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
Christopher Warren, ExxonMobil Biomedical Sciences Inc., Clinton, New Jersey, USA
Don Mackay, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Mark H. Russell, DuPont Haskell Global Centers for Health and Environmental Sciences, Newark, Delaware, USA.
Thomas E. McKone, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California

How to become a member of EMAG

SETAC members and non-members can become a member of the Exposure Modeling Advisory Group by expressing their interest on their SETAC profile. This will enable access to the forum for the EMAG on the SETAC communities site.

EMAG activities and updates

June, 2009
The EMAG group hosted a scientific session at the SETAC Europe meeting in Goteborg, Sweden, and a successful and well-attended social event at a local restaurant. Thanks to Robin Vestergren of the Department of Applied Environmental Science at Stockholm University for organizing the social event!

January, 2009
The EMAG Steering Committee initiative to develop a set of "Good Modeling Practice” (GMP) guidelines for applying exposure models has entered a phase of active development. Andreas Buser of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, Zurich, Switzerland has agreed to take the lead on the project, in collaboration with an initial team that includes members of the EMAG Steering Committee. We plan to develop a first draft of the GMP that will be circulated among the entire EMAG group for comments and contributions. Our ultimate goal is to submit the GMP document as a scientific paper to the SETAC journal Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management (IEAM).

November, 2008
The Exposure Modeling Advisory Group (EMAG) hosted a successful scientific session at the SETAC North America Meeting in Tampa Bay, Florida. The title of the session was "Exposure Modeling: Linking Sources to Concentrations in Ecosystems, Humans, Animals, and Plants” and the platform and poster sessions were well attended.