From bioavailability science to regulation of organic chemicals

Ortega-Calvo, Jose-J. and Harmsen, Joop and Parsons, John R. and Semple, Kirk T. and Aitken, Michael D. and Ajao, Charmaine and Eadsforth, Charles and Galay-Burgos, Malyka and Naidu, Ravi and Oliver, Robin and Peijnenburg, Willie J. G. M. and Roembke, Joerg and Streck, Georg and Versonnen, Bram (2015) From bioavailability science to regulation of organic chemicals. Environmental Science and Technology, 49 (17). pp. 10255-10264. ISSN 0013-936X

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The bioavailability of organic chemicals in soil and sediment is an important area of scientific investigation for environmental scientists, although this area of study remains only partially recognized by regulators and industries working in the environmental sector. Regulators have recently started to consider bioavailability within retrospective risk assessment frameworks for organic chemicals; by doing so, realistic decision-making with regard to polluted environments can be achieved, rather than relying on the traditional approach of using total-extractable concentrations. However, implementation remains difficult because scientific developments on bioavailability are not always translated into ready-to-use approaches for regulators. Similarly, bioavailability remains largely unexplored within prospective regulatory frameworks that address the approval and regulation of organic chemicals. This article discusses bioavailability concepts and methods, as well as possible pathways for the implementation of bioavailability into risk assessment and regulation; in addition, this article offers a simple, pragmatic and justifiable approach for use within retrospective and prospective risk assessment.

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Journal Article
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Environmental Science and Technology
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This document is the Accepted Manuscript version of a Published Work that appeared in final form in Environmental Science and Technology, copyright ©2015 American Chemical Society after peer review and technical editing by the publisher. To access the final edited and published work see
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04 Mar 2016 10:08
Last Modified:
17 Sep 2023 01:44