About the symposium

After more than 20 years of intensive research, science provides thorough knowledge on how bioavailability of chemicals affects environmental quality, how bioavailability can be predicted, and how to determine bioavailability through appropriate assays. Although risk assessment of chemicals and contaminated sites will improve by implementing bioavailability concepts, as yet, the application of new insights in regulatory frameworks is still limited. The main objective of this symposium is to identify and provide scientifically-based solutions to the challenges faced by regulators and industries in handling bioavailability issues during risk assessment and regulation of organic chemicals. The symposium will provide an opportunity for scientists, regulators, and industrial managers to intensify the exchange of knowledge and experience on these issues, with the goal to facilitate the implementation of bioavailability in the management and regulation of chemicals (e.g., REACH) and contaminated sites (including remediation).

The objective is not to hold detailed scientific discussions, but to discuss current insights into bioavailability and how these can be implemented in risk assessment and remediation (bio)technology, covering the different environmental protection goals in which bioavailability is involved. Attention will be focused on the needs and questions from regulators and industry, with the aim to provide a practical framework and tools needed for a realistic risk assessment. An inventory of these needs and questions will be made through a pre-symposium questionnaire. The symposium will have a workshop-type arrangement, in which presentations by keynote speakers will be followed by discussions in working groups, aiming to identify specific needs and answers in the topic of each session.