German Federal Environment Agency UBA

Langen, Germany

German Federal Environment Agency UBA

Langen, Germany
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Schreiber R.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Schreiber R.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Gundel U.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Franz S.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | And 3 more authors.
Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology | Year: 2011

Thousands of drugs are currently in use, but only for a few of them experimental chronic fish data exist. Therefore, Huggett et al. (Human Ecol Risk Assess 2003; 9:1789-1799) proposed the fish plasma model (FPM) to extrapolate the potential of unintended long-term effects in fish. The FPM compares human therapeutic plasma concentrations (HPCT) with estimated fish steady-state concentrations (FPCss), under the assumption that biological drug targets may be conserved across the species. In this study, the influence of using different input parameters on the model result was characterised for 42 drugs. The existence of structurally and functionally conserved protein targets in zebrafish could not be refuted. Thus, the FPM model application was not in contradiction to its basic assumption. Further, dissociation of drugs was shown to be important in determining the output and model robustness. As the proposed model for FPCss estimation was considered to predict accurate values for neutral and lipophilic chemicals only, a modified bioconcentration model was used with DOW as predictor. Using reasonable worst case assumptions, a hazard was indicated for one third of the selected drugs. Our results support the notion that this approach might help to prioritise among in use drugs to identify compounds where follow up evidence should be considered. © 2011 Elsevier Inc.


Bobbink R.,Radboud University Nijmegen | Hicks K.,University of York | Galloway J.,University of Virginia | Spranger T.,German Federal Environment Agency UBA | And 13 more authors.
Ecological Applications | Year: 2010

Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is a recognized threat to plant diversity in temperate and northern parts of Europe and North America. This paper assesses evidence from field experiments for N deposition effects and thresholds for terrestrial plant diversity protection across a latitudinal range of main categories of ecosystems, from arctic and boreal systems to tropical forests. Current thinking on the mechanisms of N deposition effects on plant diversity, the global distribution of G200 ecoregions, and current and future (2030) estimates of atmospheric N-deposition rates are then used to identify the risks to plant diversity in all major ecosystem types now and in the future. This synthesis paper clearly shows that N accumulation is the main driver of changes to species composition across the whole range of different ecosystem types by driving the competitive interactions that lead to composition change and/or making conditions unfavorable for some species. Other effects such as direct toxicity of nitrogen gases and aerosols, long-term negative effects of increased ammonium and ammonia availability, soil-mediated effects of acidification, and secondary stress and disturbance are more ecosystem- and site-specific and often play a supporting role. N deposition effects in mediterranean ecosystems have now been identified, leading to a first estimate of an effect threshold. Importantly, ecosystems thought of as not N limited, such as tropical and subtropical systems, may be more vulnerable in the regeneration phase, in situations where heterogeneity in N availability is reduced by atmospheric N deposition, on sandy soils, or in montane areas. Critical loads are effect thresholds for N deposition, and the critical load concept has helped European governments make progress toward reducing N loads on sensitive ecosystems. More needs to be done in Europe and North America, especially for the more sensitive ecosystem types, including several ecosystems of high conservation importance. The results of this assessment show that the vulnerable regions outside Europe and North America which have not received enough attention are ecoregions in eastern and southern Asia (China, India), an important part of the mediterranean ecoregion (California, southern Europe), and in the coming decades several subtropical and tropical parts of Latin America and Africa. Reductions in plant diversity by increased atmospheric N deposition may be more widespread than first thought, and more targeted studies are required in low background areas, especially in the G200 ecoregions. © 2010 by the Ecological Society of America.


PubMed | University of Aarhus, German Federal Environment Agency UBA, PBL Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, University of Coimbra and 7 more.
Type: | Journal: The Science of the total environment | Year: 2015

Pesticides are regulated in Europe and this process includes an environmental risk assessment (ERA) for non-target arthropods (NTA). Traditionally a non-spatial or field trial assessment is used. In this study we exemplify the introduction of a spatial context to the ERA as well as suggest a way in which the results of complex models, necessary for proper inclusion of spatial aspects in the ERA, can be presented and evaluated easily using abundance and occupancy ratios (AOR). We used an agent-based simulation system and an existing model for a widespread carabid beetle (Bembidion lampros), to evaluate the impact of a fictitious highly-toxic pesticide on population density and the distribution of beetles in time and space. Landscape structure and field margin management were evaluated by comparing scenario-based ERAs for the beetle. Source-sink dynamics led to an off-crop impact even when no pesticide was present off-crop. In addition, the impacts increased with multi-year application of the pesticide whereas current ERA considers only maximally one year. These results further indicated a complex interaction between landscape structure and pesticide effect in time, both in-crop and off-crop, indicating the need for NTA ERA to be conducted at landscape- and multi-season temporal-scales. Use of AOR indices to compare ERA outputs facilitated easy comparison of scenarios, allowing simultaneous evaluation of impacts and planning of mitigation measures. The landscape and population ERA approach also demonstrates that there is a potential to change from regulation of a pesticide in isolation, towards the consideration of pesticide management at landscape scales and provision of biodiversity benefits via inclusion and testing of mitigation measures in authorisation procedures.


Kuno R.,Companhia Ambiental do Estado de Sao Paulo | Roquetti M.H.,Companhia Ambiental do Estado de Sao Paulo | Becker K.,German Federal Environment Agency UBA | Seiwert M.,German Federal Environment Agency UBA | Gouveia N.,University of Sao Paulo
International Journal of Hygiene and Environmental Health | Year: 2013

Human biomonitoring is an important tool for the evaluation of environmental exposure to contaminants. The data that are obtained from these studies might be compared to appropriate reference values (RVs) in a specific population. The RVs were derived from the rounded values of the upper limit of the 95th confidence interval of the 95th percentile for lead (Pb), cadmium (Cd) and mercury (Hg) in blood from adults in the metropolitan area of Sao Paulo (MASP), Brazil to investigate the association between blood metals and sociodemographic and lifestyle factors. Blood samples from 653 nonsmoking blood donors without occupational exposure to the studied metals were collected in 2006. Our evaluations distinguished a younger group (18-39 years) and an older group (40-65 years). RVs in the younger group were 60. μg. Pb/L and 4. μg. Hg/L for men and 47. μg. Pb/L and 4. μg. Hg/L for women. RVs in the older group were 80. μg. Pb/L and 5. μg. Hg/L for men and 63. μg. Pb/L and 6. μg. Hg/L for women. The RV for Cd was 0.6. μg/L for adults aged 18-65 years. Pb and Cd levels demonstrated a significant association with sex and age. Male blood contained 50% more Pb, and the older group exhibited 23% more Pb. Fish consumption and amalgam fillings were primarily related to Hg levels. RVs for lead were similar to the Czech Republic and Germany but higher than the US population. The RV for Cd in Brazil was well below the RVs of these countries. The RVs for Hg in Brazil were similar to the US but higher than Germany and the Czech Republic. © 2012 Elsevier GmbH.


Schreiber R.,Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research | Schreiber R.,University of Koblenz-Landau | Kuster A.,German Federal Environment Agency UBA | Feiler U.,German Federal Institute of Hydrology BfG | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Soils and Sediments | Year: 2011

Purpose: The objective of this study was to modify a sediment contact protocol to a multiwell plate exposure system which supplements measurement of the fresh weight change (FWC) using the non-invasive effective quantum yield of energy conversion at photosystem II (PS II) reaction centres (Y(II)) in parallel. Since Y(II) is a functional parameter and FWC represents a whole-plant structural response, the determination of a more pronounced response in one of these parameters may hint at the mode of action of contaminants. By the observation of Y(II) at different time points, extrapolation of effect development over time may be gained from modelling. Material and methods: An established sediment contact protocol was adapted to an exposure in multiwell plates. During exposure, the Y(II) of exposed Myriophyllum aquaticum was measured using an imaging-pulse amplitude-modulated chlorophyll fluorometer. At the end of the 13-day exposure, the FWC was determined and the IC50 for FWC and Y(II) was estimated using concentration-response modelling. A concentration-time-response model was used to describe the effect development on Y(II) over time. This protocol was applied to natural sediments and to artificial sediments which were spiked with different contaminants. Results and discussion: It was shown that for the PS II inhibitor atrazine, the IC50 was four times lower on the Y(II) compared to the value for the FWC. In contrast, for the acetolactate-synthase inhibitor metsulfuron methyl, no effect on the Y(II) of exposed M. aquaticum could be found, while a 100% inhibition in FWC was detected. For dinitro-o-cresol, a decoupler of oxidative phosphorylation, the IC50 for the FWC and the Y(II) were of the same order of magnitude. These results are in agreement with the current mode of action understanding and show the potential of this method to interpret differences in determined IC values as mode of action dependent. Moreover, a clear decrease in estimated IY(II),txC50 values by the end of the 13-day exposure was found for atrazine. This strengthens the hypothesis that effects of contaminants in sediment are not immediately evident but may evolve over time. Conclusions: With the miniaturised sediment contact assay, mode of action dependent differences in IC values on the FWC and the Y(II) could be determined. Based on results from the concentration-time-response modelling, it could be assumed that during the 13-day exposure all contaminants may not fully exert their effects. Since investigated natural sediments did not show inhibitions on Y(II), while pronounced effects on the FWC were found, the FWC may also be worthwhile to be studied over time. © 2011 Springer-Verlag.


Recknagel S.,BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing | Radant H.,BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing | Kohlmeyer R.,German Federal Environment Agency UBA
Waste Management | Year: 2014

The objective of this work was to provide updated information on the development of the potential impact of heavy metal containing batteries on municipal waste and battery recycling processes following transposition of the new EU Batteries Directive 2006/66/EC. A representative sample of 146 different types of commercially available dry and button cells as well as lithium-ion accumulators for mobile phones were analysed for their mercury (Hg)-, cadmium (Cd)- and lead (Pb)-contents. The methods used for preparing the cells and analysing the heavy metals Hg, Cd, and Pb were either developed during a former study or newly developed. Several batteries contained higher mass fractions of mercury or cadmium than the EU limits. Only half of the batteries with mercury and/or lead fractions above the marking thresholds were labelled. Alkaline-manganese mono-cells and Li-ion accumulators, on average, contained the lowest heavy metal concentrations, while zinc-carbon batteries, on average, contained the highest levels. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.


Hartmann N.M.,German Federal Environment Agency UBA
Virology Journal | Year: 2013

Background: Human adenoviruses are promising candidates for addressing health risks associated with enteric viruses in environmental waters. Relatively harmless but common, these DNA viruses persist within the population and are generally considered extremely stable, remaining infectious in water for long periods of time. Group-specific or single species detection of human adenoviruses in environmental samples is usually based on polymerase chain reaction assays. Simultaneous identification of specific species or serotypes needs additional processing. Here we present a simple molecular approach for the monitoring of serotypic diversity in the human adenovirus populations in contaminated water sites. Methods: Diversity patterns of human adenoviruses in environmental samples, collected in an outdoor artificial stream and pond simulation system, were analyzed using a closed tube polymerase chain reaction method with subsequent melting point analysis. Results: Human adenovirus serotype 41 was the most prominent adenovirus serotype detected in environmental water samples, but melting point analyses indicated the presence of additional adenovirus serotypes. Conclusions: Based on investigations with spiked and environmental samples, a combination of qPCR and melting point analysis was shown to identify adenovirus serotypes in sewage contaminated water. © 2013 Hartmann et al.


PubMed | German Federal Environment Agency UBA, Footways S.A.S., Justus Liebig University, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology and 2 more.
Type: | Journal: Pest management science | Year: 2017

In order to assess surface water exposure to active substances of plant protection products (PPP) in the EU, the FOCUS (FOrum for the Co-ordination of pesticide fate models and their USe) surface water workgroup introduced four runoff and six drainage scenarios for Step 3 of the tiered FOCUSsw approach. These scenarios may not necessarily represent realistic worst-case situations for the different Member States of the EU. Hence, the suitability of the scenarios for risk assessment in the national authorisation procedures is not known.Using Germany as an example, the paper illustrates how national soil-climate scenarios can be developed to model entries of active substances into surface waters from runoff and erosion (using model PRZM) and from drainage (using model MACRO). In the authorisation procedure for PPPs on member state level, such soil-climate scenarios can be used to determine exposure endpoints with a defined overall percentile.The approach allows the development of national specific soil-climate scenarios and to calculate percentile-based exposure endpoints. The scenarios have been integrated into a software tool analogous to FOCUS-SWASH which can be used in the future to assess surface water exposure in authorisation procedures of PPP in Germany.


PubMed | Justus Liebig University, Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology, German Federal Environment Agency UBA, Footways SAS and Institute of Agroecology
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Pest management science | Year: 2016

In 2001, the European Commission introduced a risk assessment project known as FOCUS (FOrum for the Coordination of pesticide fate models and their USe) for the surface water risk assessment of active substances in the European Union. Even for the national authorisation of plant protection products (PPPs), the vast majority of EU member states still refer to the four runoff and six drainage scenarios selected by the FOCUS Surface Water Workgroup. However, our study, as well as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), has stated the need for various improvements. Current developments in pesticide exposure assessment mainly relate to two processes. Firstly, predicted environmental concentrations (PECs) of pesticides are calculated by introducing model input variables such as weather conditions, soil properties and substance fate parameters that have a probabilistic nature. Secondly, spatially distributed PECs for soil-climate scenarios are derived on the basis of an analysis of geodata. Such approaches facilitate the calculation of a spatiotemporal cumulative distribution function (CDF) of PECs for a given area of interest and are subsequently used to determine an exposure concentration endpoint as a given percentile of the CDF. For national PPP authorisation, we propose that, in the future, exposure endpoints should be determined from the overall known statistical PEC population for an area of interest, and derived for soil and climate conditions specific to the particular member state. 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.


PubMed | German Federal Environment Agency UBA
Type: | Journal: Virology journal | Year: 2013

Human adenoviruses are promising candidates for addressing health risks associated with enteric viruses in environmental waters. Relatively harmless but common, these DNA viruses persist within the population and are generally considered extremely stable, remaining infectious in water for long periods of time. Group-specific or single species detection of human adenoviruses in environmental samples is usually based on polymerase chain reaction assays. Simultaneous identification of specific species or serotypes needs additional processing. Here we present a simple molecular approach for the monitoring of serotypic diversity in the human adenovirus populations in contaminated water sites.Diversity patterns of human adenoviruses in environmental samples, collected in an outdoor artificial stream and pond simulation system, were analyzed using a closed tube polymerase chain reaction method with subsequent melting point analysis.Human adenovirus serotype 41 was the most prominent adenovirus serotype detected in environmental water samples, but melting point analyses indicated the presence of additional adenovirus serotypes.Based on investigations with spiked and environmental samples, a combination of qPCR and melting point analysis was shown to identify adenovirus serotypes in sewage contaminated water.

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