New publication: Toward sustainable environmental quality: priority research questions for Europe

The United Nations’ sustainable development goals have been established to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure prosperity for all. Delivery of the sustainable development goals requires a healthy and productive environment. An understanding of the impacts of chemicals on environmental health is essential for sustainable environmental quality. However, current research on and regulation of chemicals in the environment tend to take a simplistic view, not accounting for the complexity of the real world. Therefore, there is an urgent need for a change in the way the impacts of chemicals on the natural environment are studied. The present publication presents the findings of a horizon‐scanning exercise to identify research priorities of the European environmental science community around chemicals in the environment. Using the key questions approach, 22 questions of priority were identified. These questions covered overarching questions about which chemicals we should be most concerned about and where, impacts of global megatrends, protection goals, and sustainability of chemicals, as well as the development and parameterisation of assessment and management frameworks, and mechanisms to maximise the impact of the research. The identified research questions provide a first step in the path forward for the research, regulatory, and business communities to better assess and manage chemicals in the natural environment.

For additional information, see the open access publication in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry:

Van den Brink, P.J., Boxall, A.B.A., Maltby, L., Brooks, B.W., Rudd, M.A., Backhaus, T., Spurgeon, D., Verougstraete, V., Ajao, C., Ankley, G.T., Apitz, S.E., Arnold, K., Brodin, T., Cañedo-Argüelles, M., Chapman, J., Corrales, J., Coutellec, M.A., Fernandes, T.F., Fick, J., Ford, A.T., Giménez Papiol, G., Groh, K.J., Hutchinson, T.H., Kruger, H., Kukkonen, J.V.K., Loutseti, S., Marshall, S., Muir, D., Ortiz-Santaliestra, M.E., Paul, K.B., Rico, A., Rodea-Palomares, I., Römbke, J., Rydberg, T., Segner, H., Smit, M., van Gestel, C.A.M., Vighi, M., Werner, I., Zimmer, E.I., van Wensem, J. (2018). Toward sustainable environmental quality: priority research questions for Europe. Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry 37, 2281-2295.

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