Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO27-USHE: Chemicals: Assessment of Risks to Ecosystem Services (CARES)

Principal Investigator

Prof. Lorraine Maltby
Department of Animal and Plant Sciences
The University of Sheffield
S10 2 TN
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 114 222 4827


Prof. Dr. Paul J. Van den Brink, Alterra and Wageningen University, NL, paul.vandenbrink@wur.nl
Dr. Jack H. Faber, Professor of Chemical Stress Ecology, Alterra, NL, jack.faber@wur.nl
Dr. Stuart Marshall, Environmental Safety Science and Technology Leader, Unilever R&D, UK, stuart.marshall1@outlook.com


Aim: To facilitate engagement of the chemical industry, academia and regulators to help develop and evaluate the ecosystem service approach in guiding risk assessment schemes for any type of xenobiotic chemical.


  1. Review and evaluate state of knowledge and available approaches and tools for applying an ecosystem services approach to chemical risk assessment. Consider what is needed by different legislation.
  2. Reach consensus across stakeholders on the current state of knowledge, approaches and key information gaps. Outline possible ways forward.
  3. Explore the use of novel approaches from ecology, ecotoxicology and ecological modelling to address gaps. Illustrate approaches using case studies.
  4. Reach consensus across stakeholders on the merits and feasibility of an ecosystem services approach to risk assessment.
  5. Explore how an ecosystem services approach could be implemented and consider the implications for regulatory risk assessment (i.e. implementation road map).
  6. Reach consensus on implementation road map and disseminate findings to regulators, chemical industry representatives and academics.

Approach: To establish a core group of key stakeholders from the chemical industry, regulatory agencies and academia to participate in a series of workshops to develop consensus views on how the ecosystem services concept might be used in chemical risk assessment/management and what would need to be done to implement it (i.e. implementation road map).  A multidisciplinary team of ecologists, ecotoxicologists and risk assessors, with considerable experience of interacting with the chemical industry and relevant regulatory agencies, will facilitate workshop discussions via the production of discussion papers reviewing the current state of knowledge and using case studies to illustrate possible novel approaches and development needs.

Click here to read the Executive Summary.

Related Publications


Maltby L, van den Brink PJ, Faber JH, Marshall S. Advantages and challenges associated with implementing an ecosystem services approach to ecological risk assessment for chemicals. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Apr 15;621:1342-1351.

Faber JH, Marshall S, Van den Brink PJ, Maltby L. Priorities and opportunities in the application of the ecosystem services concept in risk assessment for chemicals in the environment. Sci Total Environ. 2018 Sep 17;651(Pt 1):1067-1077.


Maltby L, Marshall S, Faber JH, van den Brink PJ. Chemicals: Assessment of Risks to Ecosystem Services (CARES). Where are we now and where are we going? SETAC Europe 27th Annual Meeting, May 2017, Brussels, Belgium.

In the press:

Chemicals: Assessment of Risks to Ecosystem Services (CARES). October 2016, SETAC Globe.

Timeline: January 2015 > January 2017

LRI funding: € 299 800

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