Cefic-lri Programme | European Chemical Industry Council

ECO49 – Microplastic Effect Thresholds for Aquatic Species (METAS)

Principal Investigator

Prof Bart Koelmans
Wageningen University
Droevendaalsesteeg 3a
6708 PB Wageningen
The Netherlands
Tel: +31 317 483201


Martine van den Heuvel-Greve, Senior Researcher, Wageningen Marine Research, NL, martine.vandenheuvel-greve@wur.nl

Ivo Roessink, Senior Researcher, Wageningen Environmental Research, NL, Ivo.roessink@wur.nl


Microplastics research has grown substantially over the past years due to concerns with the public, the scientific community and environmentalist groups. They are often detected in environmental compartments but the hazards and risks they pose are debated and largely unknown. Regulatory efforts to examine microplastic safety (ECHA, EU, EFSA) have been raised as future areas of concern and focus. Assessing the applicability and adaptability of the existing hazard assessment framework to solid polymer particles can provide insight into the relative hazard of these particles and will help to identify future targeted testing efforts to support read-across and categorical assessment of solid polymer particles.

The overall aim of METAS is:

  • to provide guidance on rational testing methods for microplastic particles including quality assurance
  • to assess effect thresholds for aquatic organisms using these methods
  • to understand the most important factors affecting these thresholds
  • to provide guidance on the implications of the findings for the environmental hazard and risk assessment of microplastics.

Related Publications


Testing the effects of environmentally relevant microplastic in sediment on sixteen invertebrate species under ecologically relevant conditions, Vera N. de Ruijter, Matthias Hof, Petranta Kotorou, Jesse van Leeuwen, Martine J. van den Heuvel Greve, Ivo Roessink , Albert A. Koelmans


Quality criteria for microplastic effect studies in the context of risk assessment: A critical review, Vera N. de Ruijter, Paula E. Redondo-Hasselerharm, Todd Gouin, Albert A. Koelmans

Quality Criteria for Microplastic Effect Studies in the Context of Risk Assessment: A Critical Review, Vera N. de Ruijter, Paula E. Redondo-Hasselerharm, Todd Gouin, and Albert A. Koelmans


Timeline: March 2019 > February 2022

LRI funding: € 400 000

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