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PREMISS builds a prototype of prioritisation model for emerging contaminants in soil

News item · Jul 13, 2022 10:27:00 AM

Soil’s stepmother

Besides PFAS, there are many other groups of substances that have a potential impact on the environment and health. In many cases, little is known about these substances and regulation is lacking. So what priority should these groups of substances be given in tackling soil contamination? To help answer this question, the PREMISS project developed a prototype of a prioritisation model for emerging substances in soil, based upon existing tools for water.

Data inventory and risk assessment

A crucial step in the development of the model was the collection of existing soil data of emerging contaminants in the three participating countries. After a quick screening, a selection was made based on data availability and relevance to soil contamination. In parallel, a prototype of a prioritisation model was built, based on two existing modules: 'distribution/occurrence' and 'toxicity'. The model-based prioritisation is done in several steps from generic (based on general information, such as the REACH database) to more specific (based on more detailed information). 

Results and recommendations for the future

The results of the first calculations show that the prioritisation strongly depends on the availability and reliability of soil data and on the toxicity values used. Therefore, the project partners advocate a uniform data collection and access at the European level. Depending on the further future objectives of the model and the scale on which insights are required, adjustments must be made to convert the prototype into a user-friendly model with instructions. 
The PREMISS project was carried out within the Soil and Land Research Platform for Europe (SOILveR) in 2020-2021. It was funded by partners from Belgium (including OVAM), the Netherlands and France and implemented by BRGM (F), Deltares (Nl), RIVM (Nl), ISSEP (B-Wa), Arcadis (B-Fl) and Witteveen+Bos (B-Fl). 

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EmConSoil coordinator