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Chemical risk indicator scoping study Scoping study to develop an indicator on the risk of chemicals on ecosystems

Andres, Sandrine; Kotschik, Pia; Malherbe, Laure; Heimstad, Eldbjørg Sofie; Halvorsen, Helene Lunder; Nipen, Maja; Balde, Mamadou-Bailo; Arts, Gertie; Carré, Aurélien; Vuaille, Jeanne; Trier, Xenia

Publication details

Series: Eionet Report - ETC/HE 2022/6

Publisher: ETC/HE

Year: 2022

ISBN: 978-82-93970-16-3

This scoping study proposes a methodology to develop indicator(s) on the risk of chemicals on various types of ecosystems, habitats and species. This indicator is designed to answer the very different needs coming from environmental policy and strategies. Its aim is to reflect the consequences of human activities (e.g., farming) on ecosystems taking into account different protection goals that can cover specific or protected habitats (or the relevant communities or species in these habitats) or intensively used areas such as agricultural landscapes, which are very relevant in terms of representativity.

In order to develop such an indicator, the methodological approach retained to calculate maps showing a specific risk, illustrated as different degrees of exceedance of tolerable effect thresholds, is to combine different layers of information on which areas/habitats/ecosystems, contain which species, that are exposed to which amounts of chemicals. Information on the sensitivity of the species towards different toxicological effects, and how sensitive the species are to the applied chemicals, is used as ‘connectors’ between the different layers of spatial information.

The report highlights the data required for the development of such an indicator and their availability through a review of existing databases. A case study illustrates the applicability of the indicator and the need for further development.