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The PFA Group at SETAC Europe in May 2017

June 21st, 2017

Representatives from both PFA Limited and PFA-Brussels were among more than two thousand delegates at the annual SETAC Europe conference, which took place in Brussels this year. This four-day event covered many important topics of chemicals regulatory compliance, latest developments in knowledge and technical approaches, and emerging issues in the field of environmental science and assessment.

The PFA Group’s exhibition stand acted a focal point for our team, to raise awareness of the PFA-Brussels business, and promote the PFA group in general. It was also a meeting point and place for discussion with researchers, clients and contacts both old and new, to discuss and share ideas. We were also a point of contact for those interested in the conference posters and two platform presentations given by PFA at the conference. It was a great experience and a pleasure to build upon PFA’s brand and our relationships within this industry.

  • Oliver Warwick gave a platform presentation on different approaches to understanding the environmental impact of PBT / vPvB chemicals, in the context of REACH authorisation. The understanding of chemical impact presents a significant issue for such substances of very high concern (SVHC) and it is necessary to explore novel and objective methodologies. Two possible approaches, utilising either a concentration-impact relationship based on species sensitivity evidence, or alternatively a scoring system based more generally on the chemical hazard dataset, were discussed. This work was conducted collaboratively between PFA Limited, PFA-Brussels and Wageningen University.
  • Peter Fisk gave a platform presentation on work undertaken by PFA Limited on behalf of Concawe on the challenges of characterising chemical composition and establishing sameness, for substances of unknown or variable composition (UVCBs). Variation between samples (originating from different supply sources or even between different production batches) can present major obstacles in chemical regulatory compliance of natural derivatives as well as petrochemicals. It is important to define and understand composition on an objective, analytical-statistical basis, in order to proceed to assess hazard and risk appropriately.
  • Additionally, PFA Vision and PFA Limited displayed a conference poster on the prediction of bioconcentration and ecotoxicity based on the Hansen solubility parameters. The predictive power of these parameters, which describe inter-molecular affinity, as descriptors for such phenomena has not been well explored previously, and there was considerable interest.

Key themes from other presenters at this year’s conference included environmental impacts of microplastic contamination, and also environmental hazard prediction using chemical activity as a descriptor, with many posters and discussions on both subjects.