2021 SETAC NA Conference

42nd SETAC North America Annual Meeting

42nd SETAC North America Annual Meeting

Location:Virtual Platorm

Dates:November 14-18, 2021

We are excited to virtually connect with many of our valued clients and partners at the 42nd SETAC North America Annual Meeting! 

Experts from many technical areas of Waterborne will be in attendance, featuring several presentations to share our current work. Waterborne will be presenting recent research in climate change, environmental and geospatial modeling, pollinator protection, endangered species assessment, and ecological modeling. To learn more about the presentations we will feature, please see our list of 2021 SETAC presentations below.

The meeting platform will remain virtual for this year’s meeting, but we truly believe that the virtual setting gives us all the more reason to connect! Feel free to reach out to one of our presenters with any questions, and contact us at info@waterborne-env.com if you would like to set up a time to chat. We hope to ‘see’ you at SETAC NA 2021!

Waterborne's Presentations & Posters

Home & Personal Care ProductsPostersPresentations

Use of an Eco-Epidemiology Approach to Assess Potential Risks of Natural and Anthropogenic Factors, Including UV Filters, to Coral Community Status in Hawaii

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In the past few years, questions have been raised regarding the environmental safety of some UV filters used in personal, skin care and beach products to corals. In some cases (e.g., Hawaii, Key West, Palau) regulatory actions have been precautionary, leading to bans. Unfortunately, no regulatory authority has explicitly attempted to quantify the impacts of UV filters on corals relative to other forms of pollution or environmental factors. Eco-epidemiology is a methodology that considers species and communities as affected by complex combinations of multiple physical, chemical, and environmental conditions over time. This study assembled a large set of natural and human influenced factors (including potential risks of UV filters) along with coral cover data for the Hawaiian Island of Oahu to assess the potential adverse effects of UV filters on corals within the context of other factors. All data were spatially analyzed using a geographic information system. Principal component analyses were used to determine the relationships of coral ecological data to natural and anthropogenic factors. Results indicated that coral cover could be explained via species diversity and abundance. These aspects and all other factors were then correlated to each other to determine if some factors could act as proxies for each other (e.g., beach visitors as a proxy for UV filters) and if any factors appeared to be highly related to coral diversity and abundance. Wave power, sea surface temperatures and sedimentation were shown to be highly correlated to coral ecological status. Statistically significant regressions for coral diversity included temperature anomalies and wave power, both of which addressed the vast majority of the variance. UV filters did not significantly contribute to decreases in coral diversity. Regressions for coral abundance indicated that sewage effluent and sedimentation were more significant than UV filter hazards. Hence, it appears that UV filter hazards do not significantly address reduced coral diversity and abundance whereas wave power, temperature and sedimentation appear as the dominant factors affecting coral ecological status.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: UV Filters in Aquatic Ecosystems (2.12.04)

R. Vamshi, S.D. Dyer, B.H. Kent, F. Abi-Akar (Waterborne), C.M. Holmes (Applied Analysis Solutions), N.S. Green (Kennesaw State University, I. Davies (Personal Care Products Council). Use of an Eco-Epidemiology Approach to Assess Potential Risks of Natura and Anthropogenic Factors, Including UV Filters, to Coral Community Status in Hawaii.

Crop ProtectionPosters

Screening-Level Pollinator Risk Assessment for Trisiloxane Polyether Surfactants

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Pollinator risk assessment process is primarily focused on active ingredients of agricultural chemicals. However, recent scientific interest is growing regarding the potential impact of the inert ingredients of end-use agricultural products. One class of these ‘inerts’ is trisiloxanes, which represent superspreader surfactants. Superspreaders have unique properties which significantly reduce the surface tension of water to promote a rapid spreading of aqueous solutions on the surfaces of leaves. Application of the screening-level risk assessment process for these chemicals poses the challenges of conservatively quantifying exposure and determination of toxicological endpoints. This presentation addresses methodologies employed to conservatively quantify exposure in order to apply the screening-level pollinator risk assessment framework for three trisiloxane polyether surfactants. Two methodologies to estimate exposure are employed here, including estimation of maximum pollinator-relevant residues from magnitude of residues studies, as well as queried data analyses from the CDPR Pesticide Use Registry (PUR) database, which has included adjuvant use entries since its inception. The results from an effects characterization for larval and adult stage honeybees (Apis mellifera) with the exposure quantification to run the BeeREX model for evaluation of Tier 1 screening-level risk. The estimated environmental concentrations (EECs) and effects endpoints are used to calculate risk quotients for comparison to the defined levels of concern for pollinator risk assessment. Overall screening-level risk assessment findings will be presented along with an uncertainty analysis.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Terrestrial Toxicology, Ecology and Stress Response (3.08.01)

Collins, J., Schmolke, A. (Waterborne).  Screening-Level Pollinator Risk Assessment for Trisiloxane Polyether Surfactants.

Crop ProtectionPosters

Estimating the Range Shift of Beetle Occurrence Using Species Distribution Modeling – an Application in the Climate Change Perspective

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With a changing climate, many species including agricultural pests are likely to shift their geographical ranges. This has important implications for pest management and crop yields. How could this shift look like for major pests? To get an idea for a specific example, we analyze the occurrence data of the spotted cucumber beetle (SCB), a significant pest to cucurbit crops in the US. The purpose is to (i) explore the presence of suitable habitat in the USA and (ii) project the habitat suitability to the future, considering different climate change scenarios. The work is performed using a flexible and open platform for modeling species niches and distributions. To build a species distribution model, data on species occurrence (locations where the species was observed) and environmental conditions relevant to the species across the US have to be retrieved and processed. For our analysis, we used the dataset of the SCB occurrences from the Global Biodiversity Information Facility and the environmental data from WorldClim. After processing these datasets, we performed a partition of occurrence data to test the accuracy of the predictive model. Subsequently, we ran the species distribution model which is based on a machine learning algorithm that estimates the species response to the environment. Model outputs show the relative abundance or probability of occurrence over space (the USA) and time (projections to 2070). We tested two different scenarios of climate change using the intermediate RCP4.5 scenario and the worst case RCP 8.5 scenario. Results suggest that there will be areas of estimated range loss of SCB (Southeast US, Southern Texas) and areas of estimated range expansion (Northeast, Northern parts of the Midwest, Eastern regions of CA, and the Pacific North West) in both climate scenarios, suggesting that the species could become a major pest in regions where it is currently absent or occurring at low abundances.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Late Breaking Science: Terrestrial Toxicology, Ecology and Stress Response (3.20.03)

G. Hoogeweg, J.M. Jackson, C. Accolla, B.H. Kent, A. Schmolke, A. Ritter (Waterborne). Estimating the Range Shift of Beetle Occurrence Using Species Distribution Modeling – an Application in the Climate Change Perspective.

Geospatial dataPosters

Geospatial Model to Estimate Microplastics Transport in the U.S. From Entering Waterways From Wastewater Systems and Land Applied Biosolids

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There is a need for exposure models to simulate the pathways and transport of such particles in waterways especially with increasing public awareness about the presence of microplastics in the environment. Microplastics may enter the environment from various sources and in many forms. One source includes personal care products containing plastic particles being washed down residential drains and entering municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). A large portion of these plastic particles are removed from the water phase during the treatment process, and generally end up in the solids (i.e., sludge). Sludge disposal varies by country, region and locality, including landfill, incinerator, compost, or as land-applied biosolids. There is potential for particles in biosolid applications to reach aquatic systems depending on application location and subsequent environmental conditions. This poster will present a broadscale model designed to estimate emissions and model the fate of plastic particles exiting WWTPs into the terrestrial and aquatic environments in the United States. The model uses geospatial information on WWTPs, river hydrology and terrestrial transport potential. This regional/continental scale model is based on publicly available datasets and contained in a modular and transparent framework which is scalable and portable to multiple geographies. This presentation will demonstrate the utility of the model and how the resulting information about ultimate mass disposition (e.g., soil, freshwater, sediment, marine) and concentrations (surface water, sediment) can be used to help inform the discussion about prospectively assessing the presence and concentration of microplastics in the environment as emitted by WWTPs as effluent or transport from fields applied with biosolids.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Nanoplastics Part I: Fate, Transport, and Exposure (04.06.05)

C. Roy, A. Ritter, N. Snyder, B.H. Kent (Waterborne). Geospatial Model to Estimate Microplastics Transport in the U.S. from Entering Waterways from Wastewater Systems and Land Applied Biosolids.

Home & Personal Care ProductsPosters

Down-The-Drain Exposure Assessments in Canada and Mexico With iSTREEM®

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The iSTREEM® model (https://www.istreem.org/) integrates the locations of municipal wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) with a hydrologic network, providing a framework to assess environmental risk in a spatial context. The model has been widely applied for ecological risk assessments of down-the-drain (DtD) chemicals in the U.S. To address growing challenges outside the U.S., the model was recently expanded to include Canada and Mexico by integrating country-specific WWTP infrastructure data with river hydrology from global datasets. WWTPs are a major exposure route for a wide range of DtD chemicals that are treated and discharged to surface water. To include populations not connected to WWTP, the model utilizes a framework to account for wastewater discharged to septic/onsite systems and direct discharge to surface water. The model was applied to predict the environmental concentrations of two DtD chemicals in Canada and Mexico. Countryspecific chemical use, along with removals in wastewater and surface water were parameterized for model simulations. Results from the modeling exercise were compared with publicly available monitoring data and published literature. Additional sensitivity analyses were performed to understand the effect of varying model inputs to the results. This work highlights the practical application of the spatially resolved and probabilistic distributions generated by the model as a ready-to-use tool for exposure assessments. The evolution of the iSTREEM® model reflects recent scientific advances in DtD exposure modeling to address current global challenges and needs such as assessment over broad geographies, incorporation of probabilistic variability, spatially explicit distributions, and accessibility of this enhanced utility for end-users.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Chemistry and Exposure Assessment (04.13.09)

R. Vamshi, B.H. Kent (Waterborne), K. McDonough, S.A. Csiszar (Procter & Gamble) R.E. Heisler, K. Stanton (American Cleaning Institute). Down-the-Drain Exposure Assessment in Canada and Mexico with iSTREEM®.

Crop ProtectionPresentations

Integrating Landscape-Level Agronomic Information into Aquatic Exposure Estimates: Efficiency and Reproducibility

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The challenge of evaluating exposure potential from multiple labeled uses for over 1600 Endangered Species nationally can be intimidating. It is important to be as spatially detailed as possible in order to identify potential product use areas and regional factors that are most relevant to each species being evaluated. In addition, with over 1600 species being evaluated for a multitude of labeled uses modeled on 13 agricultural Use Data Layers (UDLs), efficiency and reproducibility are critical. We developed a highly efficient and structured approach that incorporates best available information in order to increase the reliability and relevance of exposure estimates to listed species. The refinement framework incorporates additional dimensions of aquatic exposure modeling such as cropping density and proximity, pesticide treated acre distribution, and consideration of temporal exposure. A structured and programmatic framework was implemented to build upon the baseline scenario concentrations, and apply spatial, temporal and agronomic aspects to produce well-defined and reproducible species-specific aquatic concentrations. In this presentation we will describe how daily data from thousands of individual PWC output files (labeled use / HUC / aquatic bin / proximity / application method) were scanned using Python scripts to develop summary concentration profiles for differing time periods and distribution points. Utilizing those data for each species, the set of NHD+ catchments, landscape-based crop proximity and density, pesticide usage (e.g., Percent Crop Treated), and user options (e.g., PCT multiplier, alternate application rates) were processed to produce refined exposure concentrations suitable for aggregation at multiple spatial scales appropriate for the species being examined. Transparency of input data, modeling run options and availability of raw and formatted results was paramount in this process and resulted in the ability to rapidly process and document alternative cropped areas, application rates, intervals and other variables.

SETAC North America 2021. Session:  Advancing Endangered Species Risk Assessment and Mitigation from National Scale to Species-Centric Assessments Using “Best Available” Data (05.01.07).

L. Insinga, C.M. Holmes (Applied Analysis Solutions), D. Desmarteau (Waterborne), S. Kay (Pyxis Regulatory Consulting), M .Kern (Balance EcoSolutions), J.L. Cowles (Tessenderlo Kerley/NovaSource), K. Henry (Tessenderlo Kerley/NovaSource). Integrating Landscape-Level Agronoic Information into Aquatic Exposure Estimates: Efficiency and Reproducibility.

Crop ProtectionPosters

A Stepwise Approach to Refining Risk Assessments for Listed Terrestrial Plants

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The refinement of ecological risk assessments for listed species continues to evolve as methods are developed and best available scientific data and information are introduced. National scale assessments conducted by the EPA consider the potential exposure to at least one individual of a listed species or its supporting habitat (e.g., plants, pollinators, prey). Conclusions from these assessments are primarily made based on the assumption that users will apply the product on all potential use sites using maximum labeled application options (maximum rates and number of applications, shortest application interval, application methods that produce the greatest drift, etc.). Assessments conducted by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and National Marine Fisheries Service (Services) consider these findings to determine if impacts are reasonably likely to occur for the species population and supporting habitats. The Services may consider additional species information and typical product use and usage information. Addressing uncertainties identified in the early phases of the ecological assessment can sometimes be limited by resources instead of data availability when an analysis plan is not well established. Assessment conclusions can be significantly limited without the application of existing best available scientific data and information such as product usage, typical application methods, spatial detail, and species information to address these uncertainties. This presentation illustrates a stepwise approach demonstrating the efficient application of such information as part of a refined assessment for listed plants. The assessment addresses both direct effects to plants and potential effects to supporting pollinators using a representative insecticide. Multiple lines of evidence are applied to determine if specific product use scenarios are likely to result in exposures to specific listed plants and pollinators. The assessment highlights the importance of incorporating the most relevant and reliable information to reduce uncertainty and improve our understanding of potential pesticide risk to listed species.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Advancing Endangered Species Risk Assessment and Mitigation from National Scale to Species-Centric Assessments Using “Best Available” Data (05.01.12)

M.E. Kern (Balance EcoSolutions), N. Snyder, N. Guth, J.M. Jackson (Waterborne), T.M. Blickley,  P. Havens (Corteva Agriscience). A Stepwise Approach to Refining Risk Assessments for Listed Terrestrial Plants.

Crop ProtectionPosters

The Application of Species Attributes in Listed Terrestrial Plants Refining Risk Assessments

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The incorporation of best available species information in ecological risk assessments for listed species offers a significant opportunity to advance risk characterization and reduce uncertainty in these assessments. The US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, and other state and conservation organizations often provide extensive species biological data that can then be used to support these efforts. For example, localized species protection and recovery goals from management plans typically provide detail on sensitive areas where management is most influential (e.g., critical spawning areas or species known locations). Many of these plans contain detailed information on the species (e.g., habitat, reproduction, and distribution) baseline status of the species, and its stressors (e.g., urban development, catastrophic weather events, and invasive species) that most likely influence the status and potential recovery of the species. Details on interspecies relationships (e.g., dietary choices and pollinators), help to understand relevant routes of exposure and can be used to inform how toxicity of the compound being evaluated is applied to the assessment. All this information clarifies the relationship between a stressor and the species being assessed. This presentation focuses on the application of these data to advance a refined ecological risk assessment for terrestrial plant species as part of a stepwise approach. Species attributes are applied to reduce assessment uncertainty and characterize potential risk to enable more effective species management strategies.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Advancing Endangered Species Risk Assessment and Mitigation from National Scale to Species-Centric Assessments Using “Best Available” Data (05.01.13)

M. Kern (Balance EcoSolutions), J. Jackson, N. Snyder, N. Guth (Waterborne), T.M. Blickley, P. Havens (Corteva Agriscience). The Application of Species Attributes in Listed Terrestrial Plants Refining Risk Assessments.

Crop ProtectionPosters

Refining Spatial Analysis Using Best Available Species Attributes for Listed Terrestrial Plant Species

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The incorporation of best available species information in ecological risk assessments for listed species offers a significant opportunity to refine spatial analysis to reduce assessment uncertainty. The US Fish and Wildlife Service provides range and critical habitat spatial data for listed plant species which can be combined with USDA cropping and compound usage data to inform overlap and impact of usage on a risk assessment. The spatial-specific cropping and usage data are often collected and developed over time and are available at variable specificity for different species. The species biological data, 5-year review and recovery plan documents produced by the US Fish and Wildlife Services, National Marine Fisheries Service and other state or conservation organizations often provide detail on sensitive areas where management is most influential (e.g., critical spawning areas or species known locations). Most notably, species specific habitat requirements are very useful to inform identification of suitable habitat, potential utilization of various land cover types, and relationships to potential product use sites. This narrative information, combined with spatial data provided by the USGS, USDA, and state or local agencies (such as elevation, land cover, soils, and park/administrative boundaries) can aid in the identification of species suitable habitat at often quite detailed spatial resolution. Such spatial identification of a species suitable habitat and potential areas of product use can clarify the relationship between a stressor and the species being assessed and thus refine the risk characterization for the species. This presentation focuses on the application of these methods to visualize the spatial relationship between areas most suitable for a species and areas of potential product use for a representative insecticide.

 

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Advancing Endangered Species Risk Assessment and Mitigation from National Scale to Species-Centric Assessments Using “Best Available” Data (05.01.14)

N. Guth, N. Snyder (Waterborne), M. Kern (Balance EcoSolutions), J.M. Jackson (Waterborne, T.M. Blickley, P. Havens (Corteva Agriscience). Refining Spatial Analysis Using Best Available Species Attributes for Listed Terrestrial Plant Species.

Geospatial dataPresentations

Do Current Modeling Scenarios Address Changes in Climate Patterns?

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Standard regulatory ecological risk assessments in the US and Europe rely on historical weather data to predict pesticide concentrations in groundwater and surface water. With climate change, it is predicted that temperatures will increase and rainfall patterns will shift. It is also expected that many areas will see a change in the amount of rainfall and a change in rainfall intensity. Current climate models essentially predict that arid regions will get drier and wet areas will get wetter. The effects of climate change on pesticide risk assessments are multiple. With higher temperatures, an increase in degradation of pesticides is expected and will reduce predicted concentrations in groundwater and surface water. However, increased rainfall amounts and/or intensity may result in increased leaching and runoff, leading to higher concentrations of pesticides in groundwater or surface water. In arid areas, due to a decrease in rainfall, additional irrigation may be required, the consequences of which are still poorly understood. Currently no modeling scenarios are available to predict these effects. We have developed an approach that enables us to update existing standard weather files from USEPA, PMRA, EFSA, etc., with climate change data to incorporate predicted changes in rainfall and temperature for any standard scenario (met file), agricultural field or watershed. The resulting data are daily weather files that account for increased temperature, changes in rainfall and rainfall intensity as predicted by the climate change models and the different climate change scenarios. In this presentation we will show the effects of climate change on a risk assessment in an arid region and a wet region for standard pesticide substances with different environmental fate properties. The results will demonstrate the potential effects of climate change on predicted environmental concentrations in groundwater and surface water.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Incorporating Climate Change Predictions into Human Health and Ecological Risk Assessments (05.07.02)

A. Ritter, J.M. Jackson, A. Schmolke, G. Hoogeweg, K. Marincic (Waterborne), J. Eble (Eble Group). Do Current Modeling Scenarios Address Changes in Climate Patterns?

Home & Personal Care ProductsPosters

Application of Standard Fate and Transport Modeling Approaches for Evaluating PFAS Compounds in Groundwater

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Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) used in numerous consumer products and industrial applications make their way into the environment through multiple sources. Vastness of the chemical group due to thousands of distinct PFAS and their widespread uses have led to their ubiquitous occurrence in the environment. These emerging contaminants are receiving increased attention due to their persistence and toxicity to environmental and human health. Several small and large-scale monitoring programs have shown widespread presence of these compounds in air, surface and groundwater, and soil media. USEPA has been prioritizing ongoing work to better understand and eventually reduce the potential exposure and risks caused by these chemicals. Reliable modeling tools to evaluate the fate and transport of these chemicals are critical to the development of risk assessment and remediation strategies. To date, limited work has been done to better understand the environmental exposure of these complex chemicals in the environment using existing modeling approaches. Rising public interest and increasing regulatory action has made the need for modeling an important next step in advancing the understanding of these persistent chemicals. This work will focus on applying standard modeling approaches to understand the fate and transport of PFAS. HYDRUS and PEARL models were used to simulate PFAS measured under controlled conditions. As a case study, these models were then applied to simulate a PFAS chemical in a study area in the northeastern U.S. Results from modeling were compared with available groundwater monitoring data for the study area. Practical utility of the standard modeling approaches for application to address the PFAS challenges over small and large geographies will be discussed.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Understanding Exposure to Per- and Polyfluoroalkyl Substances: Building a Foundation for Future Action (05.14.29)

P. Paulausky, R. Vamshi, B.H. Kent, A Ritter (Waterborne). Application of Standard Fate and Transport Modeling Approaches for Evaluating PFAS Compounds in Groundwater.

Crop ProtectionPosters

Emergent Adverse Outcome Pathways and Their Potential to Contribute Novel Toxicological Knowledge

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Adverse outcome pathways (AOPs) are used to encode structured toxicological knowledge. User-contributed online knowledgebases, such as the AOPWiki, contain AOPs that span diverse biological and toxicological domains. When AOPs are shared publicly, contributors are doing more than just disseminating knowledge of their specialties, they are also creating the potential for new knowledge through emergent AOPs across domains. Emergent AOPs result when key events are shared across userdefined AOPs. Recent research shows that emergent AOPs far outnumber user-defined AOPs in the AOPWiki. However, given the diversity of AOPs, emergent AOPs may provide novel toxicological insight, or they may be computational artifacts. Therefore, methods must be developed to assess their biological plausibility and prioritize them for further expert review. This paper demonstrates the usefulness of semantic network analysis of the user-defined and emergent AOPs for this purpose. Results show that unspecified emergent AOPs have, on average, comparable if not higher levels of semantic coherence as user-defined AOPs. These results indicate that emergent AOPs represent a large amount of valuable untapped AOP knowledge and reiterate the value of further enhancing user-contributed public knowledgebases, such as the AOPWiki and broader AOP knowledgebase. The contents of this abstract neither constitute nor necessarily reflect USEPA policy.

SETAC North America 2021. Session: Late Breaking Science: Environmental Risk Assessment (05.20.05)

N. Polesch (Waterborne), J. Olker (US EPA), R. Wang (US EPA). Emergent Adverse Outcome Pathways and Their Potential to Contribute Novel Toxicological Knowledge.