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A strategy for exposure science

On the fourth and fifth of July 2019, I joined the de ISES Europe Exposure science strategy workshop. ISES Europe aims to build a European Exposure Science Strategy. The workshop was intended to advance this further.

In general, Exposure science, together with Hazard characterisation are the main ingredients for Risk characterisation. Exposure science is a broad field; it comprises exposures in a working environment and exposures via air or water. Both exposures to humans and the ecology are addressed.

Interesting concepts

Essential research themes that were mentioned in the various keynotes were:

  • ‘the exposome’ (all exposures combined);
  • the necessity of being able to assess ‘families’ of chemicals (because it is hard to keep up with all newly developed individual chemicals);
  • the human microflora, inflammation status, and genetics as influencers on individual exposure results;
  • and the application of target and non-target screening.

The main topics for the exposure science strategy

ISES Europe will develop a plan for ‘methods & tools’, ‘regulatory assessment’, ’data generation & storage’, ‘education & awareness’. Crucial elements of the exposure science strategy that emerged for ‘data generation & storage’, but also in other themes, were

  • standards for methods and data
  • data quality
  • sharing of data (also considering privacy)

KWR and science strategy

The KWR presentation that I gave on “Data validation for high-quality exposure science” exemplified the manner and advantage of having criteria, protocols, and procedures in data validation to come to data of high quality. They were supported with examples of KWR tooling and protocols. KWR is active in specifically data validation in the BTO project ‘Hydroinformatics Platform Pilot Data Validation’ (2018), ‘Categories in data quality in the BRO’ (2018). ‘Protocol for data quality control (QC) groundwater quantity’ (2018). Furthermore, the KWR hydroinformatics council has data validation and other initiatives for data standardisation highly prioritised. After all, availability and interoperability of high-quality data are a basis for right conclusions and decisions.

All in all, it was an inspiring workshop, and exposure science stands an excellent chance to achieve the goals with ISES Europe as a driving force.