Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) Europe

Join Waterborne Environmental at the upcoming SETAC Europe conference from April 30th through May 4th, 2023 in Dublin, Ireland! We're sending a cotillion of experts who will present short courses and papers (abstracts below), and meet with colleagues within the industry. Waterborne's Amelie Schmolke, Brenna Kent and Amy Ritter will all attend EU SETAC in person.If you'd like to set up a meeting, please contact Waterborne's SETAC lead, Amy Ritter, at aritter@waterborne-env.com.

Waterborne Talks

Monday, May 1st, 9:20AM, 4.07.T-03; EcoCem Room (level 02)

Title: Model Simulations of UV Filter Exposure to Marine and Freshwater Organisms Authors: Brenna Kent*, W. Martin Williams, Todd Gouin, Raghu Vamshi, Scott Dyer, Nicola Hefner, Eva Klingelmann, Sascha Pawlowski and Amelie Ott

Abstract: Sunscreens are vital in preventing skin cancer by absorbing harmful UV-A and UV-B light. Questions have been raised regarding the potential impact of specific UV filter ingredients in aquatic systems. Given the lack of robust and high-quality monitoring data to characterize UV filter concentrations in water and sediment under the diverse conditions in which sunscreens are used, a modeling framework is being developed to evaluate the behavior and exposure concentrations of different UV filter ingredients under high exposure beach scenarios. The modeling framework consists of several levels ranging from simplistic dilution-based estimates to more complex 3-dimensional circulation models. Hydrodynamics play an important part in UV filter dispersion; therefore, scenarios and sites identified for benchmarking model performance represent a variety of aquatic environments, including highly-flushed, semi-flushed, and more static waterbodies. Rarely do monitoring studies record information on all input parameters required for model setup; thus, certain inputs are based by necessity on assumptions. In particular, site-specific information necessary to estimate UV ingredient emissions is often unavailable, including the specific sunscreen products used, consumer application and reapplication patterns, and swimming behavior with respect to time in water and extent of immersion in water. To account for the uncertainties around these inputs, the UV ingredient emission estimate is addressed in a probabilistic manner. The modelling framework was applied to different sites for benchmarking and ultimately scenarios were created to represent various environmental conditions where UV-filters are used to evaluate potential ecological risk. This presentation describes the framework, comparisons of model predictions to monitoring data for three study sites, and the development of model scenarios to evaluate the potential exposure of UV filter ingredients under a diverse range of highly populated beach environments.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 11:20AM – Liffey Meeting Room 2

Talk: The effect of alternative synthetic hydrographs when quantifying pesticide mitigation efficiencies with VFSMOD in exposure assessments. Talk Authors: Rafael Muñoz-Carpena*, Robin Sur, Stefan Reichenberger, Stephan Sittig, Amy Ritter

Abstract: The higher-tier regulatory pesticide risk assessments (EU FOCUS, US-EPA, Canada PMRA, etc.) use the model PRZM to calculate edge of the field surface flow, sediment and pesticide runoff mass in daily time steps within long-term simulations. VFSMOD is currently available for the calculation of vegetative filter strip (VFS) pesticide mitigation within these regulatory frameworks. Critical to this analysis is that the inputs required to run VFSMOD for each daily event simulation in long-term assessments are those already available within the regulatory risk analysis framework. For the case of rainfall data, in some instances, hourly rainfall records exist for regulatory agroecological scenarios, where in other cases only daily totals are available. Quantifying VFS efficiency requires consideration of the flow and transport dynamics within the filter during the storm. For this, VFSMOD operates at the sub-hourly time step so PRZM daily field outputs used as VFSMOD inputs must be distributed during the storm. Different alternatives could be considered but these can affect the realism and accuracy of the calculations and the results of the regulatory assessment.  This study compares 3 approaches for distributing daily rainfall and field runoff based on standard storm durations for the specific regulatory scenario: two simplified (rectangular and triangular shapes) and a more physical approach used as benchmark for comparison. A previous VFSMOD application case study is used to analyze the relative effect of the choice of hydrograph and rainfall distribution for a wide range of VFS sizes, 2 soil types dominant in the study area, storms magnitude (return periods) and duration, and pesticide characteristics (Koc). Statistical and global sensitivity analyses show that the triangular distribution is a good compromise in terms of simplicity of implementation, computational time and accuracy of calculated values for reductions of runoff, sediment and pesticide in the VFS. This supports its use in the regularly pesticide mitigation assessments with VFSMOD.

Waterborne Posters

Monday, May 1st, 8:45AM, 2.06.P-Mo117; The Exhibition Hall

Title: Water Stress from Future Climate Changes and Modeling Impacts to the Environment from Consumer Product Chemical Exposure in the United States and Europe. Authors: Brenna Kent*, Raghu Vamshi, Jennifer Crider, Scott Dyer, and Andrea Carrao

Abstract: Growing human population in combination with expansive evidence of climate change has added stress on freshwater availability at a global scale. Water stress is impacting communities to focus on water conservation, reuse, and recycling technologies for freshwater use. However, they may require innovations in consumer products that depend on water for their function and disposal. Water stress across the two regions, United States (US) and Europe (EU), were examined by evaluating datasets considering historic, current, and future water availability and use scenarios. Inclusion of anticipated climate change events required datasets that incorporated scenarios of estimated future population and water use with high spatial resolution. These datasets captured predicted temporal trends for the years 2020-2050 and were integrated with wastewater treatment plant infrastructure data across the US using EPA’s Clean Water Needs Survey and Europe using EEA’s Waterbase. The consolidated information was used to develop current and future water use scenarios. The influence of future water use scenarios on down-the-drain chemical exposures were predicted by evaluating four consumer product chemicals with various phys/chem properties and use patterns. Results from the modeling provided a quantitative forecast of the potential impacts of water stress on down-the-drain chemical exposure and potential risk. Incorporating spatial and temporal variation in water stress and understanding its impact on the environment from chemical risk, through the lens of future scenarios, provides a new dimension in the development of consumer products. Incorporating these issues into product development, now, will ensure that both consumers and the environment will be appropriately stewarded, especially considering future environmental challenges in the US and EU. This work is an expansion of research presented at the 2022 SETAC NA meeting.

Monday, May 1st, 8:45AM, 4.07.P-Mo333; The Exhibition Hall 

Title: Spatial Analysis on the Distribution of Sunscreen Use Patterns from Consumer Surveys Across the United States. Authors: Nick Guth, Andy Jacobson, Brenna Kent*, Scott Dyer, and Andrea Carrao

Abstract: Information on consumer use patterns is an asset in understanding the qualitative and quantitative parameters of product usage across any geography. This is particularly relevant for consumer product use since such data is lacking, especially on a local scale to better understand the relevance from an environmental exposure perspective. Within consumer products, information on sunscreen usage is of special interest because of recent concerns about the toxicity of certain UV-filters. Sunscreen products contain chemicals that act as UV-filters, essential in preventing skin cancer by absorbing harmful UV radiation. However, there are concerns about the potential risk of some UV filter chemicals in aquatic environments. A survey across the United States (US) and Canada on sunscreen use by consumers provided a wealth of information on consumer usage behavior such as, application frequency, quantity of product, and swimming location (pools, lakes/rivers, oceans, etc.). Additionally, the survey data contained geographic relevance at a zip/postal code level, which is the most spatially detailed ever collected. Spatial analysis of the sunscreen use survey data provided insights into the per capita use, proximity to beaches and discharge to wastewater treatment plants – helping understand the environmental exposure to surface waters. Similarly, use quantity and direct exposure to ocean waters was examined. Further, the analysis also explored proximity of consumer use sources to exposure in aquatic environments. This spatially refined use information was extrapolated to adjust with national sunscreen use across the US and compared against wider data on temperature, cloud cover and UV index. The spatial and statistical analysis provided quantitative end points to correlate the relevance of sunscreen use to potential environmental risk. This research illustrates how consumer survey data about sunscreen habits and practices at a fine spatial scale can be used to better understand local environmental exposure concerns. The more refined understanding can better guide science-based risk management decisions for consumer products.

Monday, May 1st, 8:45AM, 2.13.P-Mo136; The Exhibition Hall

Title: Solitary Bees and Pesticide Exposures: A Model Approach Authors: Amelie Schmolke*, Nika Galic, Vanessa Roeben, Thomas G Preuss, Mark Miles, and Silvia Hinarejos

Also presented at Poster Corner at 18:00 in Level 1 Foyer (Level 01)

Abstract: Solitary bees, including both wild and managed populations, are important pollinators of crops and wild flower communities. Solitary bees can potentially be exposed to pesticides via multiple routes of exposure which may differ between species and between solitary bees and the Western honey bee (Apis mellifera) which is currently used as surrogate for risk assessments across bee species. Species-specific traits may additionally interact with the potential for exposures and effects, including, for instance, phenology, reproductive rates and flower preferences. We are presenting a population model for solitary bees in agricultural landscapes, SolBeePop. The model was developed to simulate a variety of species by using species-specific ecological traits as model parameterisations. Model parameterisations for several species (Osmia bicornisO. cornifronsO. cornutaO. lignariaMegachile rotundataNomia melanderi, and Eucera (Peponapis) pruinosa) were compiled from the literature whereby data availability varied by species. Exposures to a pesticide through multiple exposure routes can be considered, such as nectar, pollen, direct spray and nesting materials. Effects are implemented using a simplified toxicokinetic-toxicodynamic model, BeeGUTS, adapted specifically for adult bees while an exposure-response functions is applied to simulate effects to developing in-nest life stages. We calibrated and validated the model with control data from semi-field studies conducted with O. bicornis. We applied the model across the model species to assess the impacts of different trait combinations on population dynamics as well as population-level effects. The model provides a valuable tool for higher-tier pesticide risk assessments across species of solitary bees in agricultural landscapes.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 8:45AM, 3.17.P -Tu282;The Exhibition Hall

Title: Comparison of regulatory waterbody models Authors: Amy Ritter* and Mark Cheplick

Abstract: This presentation will show a comparison of predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) using regulatory waterbody models used in the United States, EU, and Andean countries. A single application to EU winter cereal and potato crop scenarios were run with winPRZM (Pesticide Root Zone Model) simulating the runoff/erosion from a field transferring into a waterbody. Three different adsorption coefficients (Kocs) were modeled with half-lives of 100 days. The mass loads from winPRZM were input into three regulatory waterbody models: TOXic substances in Surface Waters (TOXSWA), Variable Volume Water Model (VVWM), and EXposure Analysis Modeling System (EXAMS). The comparison shows the range of variation or similarity between PECs for pond and stream environments between the different models. While an attempt was made to create identical parameterization of inputs for the models there are some algorithmic differences for the stream environment that cannot be duplicated in all three models. These differences lead to more variation in the PECs when simulating higher Kocs and the stream environment. The pond environment did not exhibit this trend and results were much more aligned.

Tuesday, May 2nd, 8:45AM, 3.02.P-Tu139;The Exhibition Hall

Title: Application of a spatially resolved model to refine exposure assessment of down-the-drain chemicals in European rivers Authors: Chiara Maria Vitale*, Susan A Csiszar, Raghu Vamshi, Brenna Kent, Michaela Koopmans, Diederik Schowanek, Ping Sun and Kathleen McDonough

Abstract: A spatially-resolved model was developed for Europe that predicts the fate and transport of chemicals disposed down-the-drain and estimates aquatic concentration distributions (i.e. percentiles) in receiving waters.  The model uses chemical specific information (per-capita emissions, wastewater treatment plant (WWTP) removal, in-river decay) and spatially explicit data on WWTP infrastructure, population served and river basin hydrology, to simulate water and chemical routing and predict in-stream concentrations. This modelling framework, built upon the iSTREEM® framework, which contains geographic datasets for USA, China and Japan, was implemented for European countries, using spatially refined publicly available datasets. The USDA Curve Number method was used to generate spatially-resolved mean river flows for use in the model. Chemical case studies were run for common surfactants used in cleaning products with down-the-drain emissions (i.e., linear alkyl benzene sulphonates (LAS); alcohol ethoxysulphates (AES); alcohol sulfates (AS)) to evaluate model performance. Predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) in rivers were compared to monitoring data, as well as simulations performed by EUSES predictions, as a comparison.  Results suggest that the spatially-resolved Europe modeled PECs were predictive while being conservative when compared to monitoring data. The modeled PECs also reproduced the spatial variability of monitored concentrations with agreements generally greater than an R2 of 0.9. Additionally, EUSES estimates were also conservative when compared to the monitoring data and the spatially-resolved model can be used to further understand differences between these results and to perform refined exposure assessments for down-the-drain chemicals.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 8:45AM, 2.03.P-We-63; The Exhibition Hall

Title: Towards a virtual mesocosm for pesticide risk assessment: a comparison of four models applied to mesocosm data Authors: Chiara Accolla, Amelie Schmolke*, Nika Galic, Steven M. Bartell, Daniel Dawson, Klaus Peter Ebke, Jana Gerhard, Ann-Kathrin Loerracher, Isabel O'Connor, Laura Mudge, Robert Pastorok, Damian V Preziosi, Brandon Sackmann, Juergen Schmidt, Nele Schuwirth, Tido Strauss and Roman Ashauer

Abstract: Aquatic mesocosm studies are used in higher-tier aquatic risk assessments of pesticides. Aquatic systems models (ASMs) could be used to interpret and extend mesocosm experiments, e.g., by modeling ambient environmental and pesticide exposure conditions untested in the empirical systems. Mesocosm studies can provide data for aquatic systems models (ASMs), which are rarely available for natural systems. Thus, ASMs could become valuable tools to complement higher-tier aquatic risk assessments.

We present the results of a comparative modeling ("ring") study with four previously published ASMs (Streambugs, AQUATOX, CASM, and StoLaM+StreamCom). In the project, the four models were calibrated and validated to mesocosm control and toxic effect data conducted by Mesocosm GmbH at FNU Research Centre Neu-Ulrichstein, Germany. In the treatment studies, a fungicide was applied.

We reviewed the data for patterns and consistencies across studies and derived control and effect calibration and validation criteria for the ASMs applicable across studies. The ring study revealed uncertainty and data gaps related to the characterization of the mesocosm systems necessary for ASM parameterizations and evaluation of model performance. The calibrated ASMs met the pre-defined control calibration and validation criteria to varying extents. Each model performed differently in describing the abundances and dynamics of the organism groups and taxa in the food web. Organism groups best represented in simulations varied among the four models. In the effects simulations, the ASMs captured the most pronounced treatment-related effects across the study period. Some models successfully represented indirect effects resulting in increased taxon abundances in the mesocosm studies.

This study is a crucial first step towards the use of ASMs as 'virtual mesocosms' that can inform higher-tier aquatic risk assessments. The application of ASMs in the context of higher-tier aquatic risk assessments in the European Union can potentially extend the use of data from these studies by applying primarily different exposure profiles, but ultimately also environmental conditions and species compositions.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 8:45AM, 2.03.P-We-63; The Exhibition Hall

Title: Use of hybrid ecosystem/IBM models to mimic outdoor aquatic mesocosms for pesticide risk assessment Authors: Tido Strauss*, Natalie Carmen Dallmann, Josef Koch, Juergen Schmidt, Chiara Accolla, Amelie Schmolke, Nika Galic and Roman Ashauer

Also presented at Poster Corner from 18:00 to 18:45 at Level 1 Foyer (Level 01) 

Abstract: Aquatic mesocosms are artificial ecosystems regularly used as proven test systems for higher-tier risk assessments of pesticides. At the same time, mechanistic effect models are also considered useful tools for ecological risk assessment of chemical stressors. In recent years, individual-based population models (IBMs) have been increasingly used in ecological risk assessment, often coupled with TKTD effect models. Integrated within ecosystem models, they can be powerful tools for predicting species population dynamics for different environmental scenarios.

This study is part of a larger ring study comparing four aquatic system models (ASMs) with different model structures to evaluate whether such modelling approaches can be used to simulate aquatic mesocosms. The ring study is a step towards the use of ASMs  in the regulatory context of pesticide risk assessment in the future. Here we present one of the four ASMs, which is the hybrid ecosystem model framework StoLaM+. StoLaM+ links the lake model StoLaM, a hydrodynamic-ecological compartment model including several zooplankton and phytoplankton species, and IBMs for pelagic taxa such as daphnids, copepods and the dipteran Chaoborus crystallinus. Model dynamics are driven by year-specific meteorological weather data. The IBMs incorporate TKTD effect models for dynamic simulation of pesticide effects. Data from several outdoor aquatic mesocosm studies with and without pesticide treatment were available for several calibration and validation steps of the models.

This presentation focuses on the pelagic food web, where the most pronounced direct effects of the applied fungicide were found on planktonic crustaceans. The degree of adaptation of the model parameters to the respective case study is essential for the simulation quality as well as the transferability of the model to deviating ecological scenarios. In this application example, most of the parameters of the StoLaM+ model were kept unchanged and only study-specific parameters and pesticide- and organism-specific parameters of the effect models were calibrated. We derived validity criteria for the simulation quality from the minimum detectable differences (MDD values) in the mesocosm study and the deviation between treatments and controls over the experimental time. Simulated direct and indirect effects of the fungicide on the pelagic organisms are presented and discussed in comparison with the effect data of the experimental mesocosm studies.

Wednesday, May 3rd, 8:45AM, 2.03.P-We-067; The Exhibition Hall

Title: Towards a Virtual Mesocosm: Using the CASM-cosm to Assess Pesticide Risks Authors: Steven M. Bartell, Chiara Accolla, Amelie Schmolke*, Cindy Woodard, Peter Ebke, Nika Galic and Roman Ashauer

Abstract: The comprehensive aquatic systems model (CASM) is a bioenergetics-based food web/ecosystem model used previously to assess pesticide risks in experimental ponds, lower-order streams, off-channel habitats, and wetlands. The CASM was adapted to simulate the FNU Research Centre outdoor pond mesocosms located near Neu-Ulrichstein, Germany. The resulting CASM-cosm included multiple populations of periphyton, phytoplankton, zooplankton, and benthic macroinvertebrates designated as important based on available control mesocosm data. The growth of the modeled populations was determined by parameters derived from the technical literature and previous CASM applications and physical-chemical data specific to each mesocosm study. The CASM-cosm was calibrated to four FNU mesocosm study control data sets. Calibration was performed by manually adjusting key growth parameter values (e.g., rates of photosynthesis, consumption, respiration) and comparing modeled to observed abundance and associated ASM ring study calibration criteria for the modeled populations. The calibrated model was within the range of the calibration criteria for 88 percent of the possible comparisons for the modeled macroinvertebrates and 71 percent for modeled zooplankton. The calibration matched 10 percent of the comparisons for modeled phytoplankton and 13 percent for periphyton. The control calibration was subsequently calibrated to population abundance data for mesocosms treated with the pesticide azoxystrobin (AZT). The calibration to measured effects of AZT was performed by deriving toxicity benchmark values (e.g., EC50 values) for each modeled population. Values of the model inputs used in the calibration to the control data were not changed during calibration to the AZT mesocosm data. Repeated simulations with systematically adjusted EC50 values were performed to match the magnitudes and temporal patterns of population abundances reported for the treated mesocosms. Daily values of control and treatment population biomass were plotted for the 365-day simulations. Percentage impacts (+/-) on abundance were plotted in relation to minimum detectable differences defined by the variability of population responses among replicate (N=3) treatment mesocosms. Average differences between calibrated model and measured percentage impacts ranged from 10 for nauplii to 83 for small Cladocera. The CASM-cosm provides a virtual representation of the FNU mesocosms for higher-tier pesticide risk assessments.