Persistence in the environment is one of the most important criteria in the regulation of organic chemicals. Besides being used for prioritising hazardous chemicals (identifying persistent, bioaccumulative, toxic (PBT) and persistent, mobile, toxic (PMT) substances, as well as very persistent and very bioaccumulative or very mobile ones), it is central to determining chemical exposure and any subsequent risk.
Persistence is extremely complex: it is determined by a combination of chemical specific properties and environmental factors, and it also involves multiple processes in multiple compartments.
In its newly published paper in Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, ECETOC (European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals) explores the application of weight-of-evidence (WoE) and the overall persistence to the evaluation steps, and proposes a new framework for the assessment of chemical persistence in the environment. In a second paper to be published in early 2022, the Task Force addresses scientific opportunities to improve the accuracy and reliability of laboratory methods involved in persistence assessment. Work that Equitox will follow!
Journal article (open access): https://setac.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ieam.4548