SETAC Europe Conference 2017

2017 SETAC EUROPE Conference


Dates:May 7-11, 2017

This year’s SETAC Europe meeting theme is “Environmental quality through transdisciplinary collaboration”. As stated on the conference website, “Given the complexity of multiple stressors (chemical, biological, physical) and stressor combinations in the environment, and the vast amount of biodiversity requiring protection (species, ecosystem structure and functioning), the key to successful and efficient environmental quality management will hinge upon trans-disciplinary collaboration between environmental and human toxicologists, environmental chemists, and scientists and policy-makers from a diversity of disciplines, including conservation biology, ecology, human health, engineering, sociology, law, and economy.”

Waterborne’s Geospatial Scientist, Environmental Risk Assessment expert, Christopher Holmes, and Soil & Water Quality Scientist, Dr. Gerco Hoogeweg, will be attending SETAC EU and presenting two platforms and three posters. They are speaking to Waterborne’s work in various areas including wastewater assessments, home and personal care products and crop protection and giving focused talks on rice modeling, TFD crosswalks between Europe and North America, microplastics exposure modeling, sewer residence time & DtD modeling.

To schedule a meeting with Mr. Holmes and/or Dr. Hoogeweg, email them at and

Request a copy of Waterborne’s SETAC EU presentation schedule by emailing Casey Wisch at

Waterborne's Presentations & Posters

Home & Personal Care ProductsPosters

A Framework for Dynamic Estimation of Aquatic Environmental Concentrations of Microplastics Via WWTP Discharge

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Down-the-drain exposure models provide a valuable screening-level tool for estimating environmental exposure to substances which are treated and discharged at municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). Microplastics enter WWTPs from a variety of sources. As such, exposure models traditionally used for chemicals may also be utilized for particle emissions into the environment from WWTP discharge. These models often account for removal in WWTP as well as in-river decay processes. However, in light of incomplete and changing knowledge on microplastic fate in surface waters, we developed a framework in which microplastic use rates and general properties can be used to estimate the range of expected environmental concentrations depending on assumptions about removal and decay. We developed a web-based tool incorporating 10 removal rates and 10 decay rates encompassing the typical and extreme ranges of possible values. Each of the 100 model runs produces a distribution of Predicted Environmental Concentration (PECs) representing each effluent impacted stream as described by the iSTREEM® model which estimates spatially-explicit concentrations of chemicals in effluent and receiving waters across the US. Output visualization in the interactive tool includes a broad view of all possible combinations in a matrix format, and a detailed view of the full distribution of PECs for individual model runs. Within the matrix, each of the 100 individual cells correspond to a selected percentile of the PEC distribution (e.g., 95th percentile) for tha combination of removal and decay. We demonstrate the utility of this framework using WWTP influent loadings of polyethylene microbeads from liquid soaps and shower gels estimated using per-capita usage (Gouin et al 2011) and combine with individual facility population served and flow estimates using the iSTREEM model. We can the investigate the question … What kind of environmental concentrations might we estimate using these emissions? This dynamic framework can be used to help inform environmental exposure assessments by readily providing PECs based on varying model inputs on WWTP removal and in-stream decay rates for microplastics, which continues to evolve as more research is conducted. While this framework was applied to the US at a national scale, the framework itself is not geographic-dependent and could function equally well utilizing PEC distributions from Europe or elsewhere.

C.M. Holmes, R. Vamshi, N.Maples-Reynolds (Waterborne Environmental); I.A. Davies, B. Jonas (Personal Care Products Council), S.D. Dyer (The Procter & Gamble
Company / Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Organization). A Framework for Dynamic Estimation of Aquatic Environmental Concentrations of Microplastics Via WWTP Discharge. SETAC EU 2017. Poster.

Home & Personal Care ProductsPresentations

Estimating Sewer Residence Time at the National Scale to Enable Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Down-The-Drain Household Consumer Product Ingredients

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Many household consumer product ingredients disposed of down-the-drain can undergo significant degradation in the sewer system prior to being treated and discharged from a wastewater treatment facility. Understanding the distribution of sewer residence times for wastewater at the national scale, in combination with in-sewer biodegradation data for specific chemicals, can provide a more realistic assessment of environmental exposure and risk. However, the availability of data for sewer residence times at the national or regional scale is currently limited. We overview how commonly-available data resources such as road networks, land use and population data, and wastewater treatment facility data can be analyzed spatially to estimate the distribution of sewer residence times at a national or regional scale. This approach was developed using case study sewer system data and extrapolated to a national dataset of over 3,400 wastewater treatment facilities across the U.S., yielding a national median residence time of 3.3 hours. We demonstrate how sewer residence time distributions derived by this spatial approach can be used as a tool to enable probabilistic risk assessment of down-the-drain household consumer product ingredients for a given country or region.

K.E. Kapo, R. Vamshi, M. Sebasky, C.M. Holmes (Waterborne Environmental), M. Paschka, K. McDonough (P&G). “Estimating Sewer Residence Time at the National Scale to Enable Probabilistic Risk Assessment of Down-The-Drain Household Consumer Product Ingredients”. Presentation. SETAC EU 2017.

Crop ProtectionPresentations

Comparison of Aquatic Exposure Assessment Models for Pesticide Use on Rice

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An evaluation of six modeling approaches for predicting environmental concentrations associated with the use of crop protection chemicals on rice was conducted. A comparison of predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) computed with all six approaches (EPA Tier 1, MED-RICE, Japanese regulatory spreadsheet “Aquatic PEC”, SWAGW, RICEWQ-EXAMS, and PFAM) is presented along with the status of their regulatory acceptance for pesticide registration in the United States, European Union, China, and Japan. RICEWQ-EXAMS is used in the Pesticide Risk Assessment Exposure Simulation Shell (PRAESS) for China Scenarios and for higher tier in Europe. Of the six models, RICEWQ and PFAM models have the capability to simulate multiple pesticide applications,metabolites, and the flooding, overflow, and controlled releases of water associated with rice production. Each country has different guidance on which model, input parameters and ecological environments are used for computing PECs. A description of each model/scenario will be presented a long with a comparison of PECs from two pesticides using each model.

A. Ritter, M. Cheplick, G. Hoogeweg, C.M. Holmes (Waterborne Environmental). Comparison of aquatic exposure assessment models for pesticide use on rice. SETAC BRUSSELS. Presentation. April 2017.

Home & Personal Care ProductsPresentations

Integrating Treatment Facility and River Network Information to Model Spatially-Explicit Environmental Concentrations of Down-The-Drain Substances: ISTREEM

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iSTREEM® is a web-based model which estimates spatially-explicit environmental concentrations of down-the-drain chemicals in effluent and receiving waters across the USA. Concentrations are estimated at the discharge points of over 10,000 municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) and downstream receiving waters covering more than 350,000 km of rivers. The model incorporates WWTP information on population served, treatment type, and facility flow which are linked to a commonly used hydrology framework providing flow and hydrologic connectivity between facilities and downstream sites. As part of the hydrologic routing, a first-order decay is implemented to simulate environmental processes that remove chemical from the water column. The model allows for regional use rates to better simulate potential geographic variability in emissions, as well as differing removal rates to account for different facility treatment types. Given the assumption of temporally constant emission, the model is able to efficiently execute as a single, annual model run. The publicly available web-based model ( exemplifies open access to modeling resources, with no software installation required, and computation resources for model runs performed by the iSTREEM server. Users are able to save and retrieve runs, interact with results in a map format, or download source data and model results for more in-depth analysis by the user, including linking to desktop mapping software. The model, sponsored by the American Cleaning Institute (ACI,, is a valuable tool for both promoting product and ingredient stewardship and potential regulatory compliance for chemical suppliers and manufacturers of formulated products. The framework and modular nature of the model allow it to be applied to different geographies beyond the current USA-wide dataset.

C.M. Holmes, R. Vamshi (Waterborne Environmental); P. DeLeo, D. Ferrer (American Cleaning Institute); S.D. Dyer (The Procter & Gamble Company / Environmental Stewardship and Sustainability Organization). Integrating Treatment Facility and River Network Information to Model Spatially-Explicit Environmental Concentrations of Down-The-Drain Substances: ISTREEM. Presentation. SETAC Europe 2017.

Crop ProtectionPosters

Use of the OECD ENASGIPS Crosswalk Tool

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One of the deliverables from the OECD Pesticide Dissipation Project is a GIS-based application to assess the similarity of ecoregions between Europe and North America. The objective of this tool is to find matching ecoregions which enable registrants to demonstrate that foreign test site conditions exist in either Europe or North America. This GIS application has the potential of being used in a variety of manners. Risk assessors can easily determine if e.g. the dissipation results from rice studies conducted in the US are applicable to European registration and vice versa. Although, the tool is easy to use, expert knowledge regarding the underlying data and model help with interpretation? the results. In this presentation, we will explore how the tool and the underlying data can be used to find locations with environmental conditions that match foreign test sites, and the implications of registration of pesticides in Europe from an ecoregion perspective. In addition, we will address issues such as crop data, discuss the implications of using long-term versus short term field data, and account for variability in climate and soil properties and the impact on site selection.

G.Hoogeweg, C.M. Holmes (Waterborne Environmental). Use of the OECD ENASGIPS Crosswalk Tool. SETAC Europe 2017. Poster.