Advancing RIFM’s Science at SETAC: A new environmental framework & more
For the first time since the pandemic paused larger gatherings, SETAC Europe will hold its 33rd Annual Meeting in person in Dublin (as well as online).
SETAC, the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, is a member-driven non-profit organization focused on identifying and solving issues relevant to natural resources and the environment. Its in-person Annual Meetings draw thousands of environmental toxicologists worldwide. The event runs from April 30 to May 4, 2023.
“SETAC Europe’s Annual Meeting is a critical venue for sharing RIFM’s collaborative environmental science,” explained Principal Scientist Aurelia Lapczynski, who leads the Environmental Research and Safety Assessment programs at the Research Institute for Fragrance Materials (RIFM).
“This year’s theme, ‘Data-driven environmental decision-making,’ perfectly dovetails with the work RIFM has pioneered over the last two decades focused on animal-alternative models,” she added. “Understanding the strengths and limitations of pre-existing data is a critical step in eliminating animal studies.”
Lapczynski will present three soon-to-be-published RIFM studies.
1. An update to RIFM’s Environmental Framework
RIFM has conducted environmental risk assessments and screenings for two decades to evaluate the safety of more than 3,000 fragrance ingredients in current use. Lapczynski, RIFM’s Environmental Core Team, and colleagues at the environmental engineering company Integral Consulting incorporated recent advances in environmental exposure science and ecological hazard characterization in this critical, expansive update to the document that guides this work.
“This revised version expands the geographic scope to include Asia and the southern western hemisphere,” Lapczynski said. “This version also uses wastewater treatment plant simulation models and biodegradation to estimate environmental concentrations and includes current population and water use data and guidance on applying the ecoTTC.”
2. A fragrance-specific ecoTTC
The Threshold for Toxicological Concern, or TTC, is a well-established and regulatory accepted concept in human safety. RIFM human health scientists rely upon the TTC to screen and rapidly assess data-poor fragrance ingredients while avoiding animal testing.
“The TTC establishes the exposure concentrations below which negligible risk is expected,” Lapczynski elaborated. She and her Environmental Core Team colleagues have developed an analogous fragrance material ecological TTC (ecoTTC) approach using existing environmental data on discrete synthetic ingredients.
3. Development of a chronic OTNE Species Sensitivity Distribution
OTNE, which stands for octahydro-tetramethyl-naphthalenyl-ethanone, is a fragrance ingredient used in cleaning and personal care products disposed of down the drain. Working again with RIFM’s Environmental Core Team, Lapczynski and her colleagues performed a chronic Species Sensitivity Distribution, or SSD, to describe the inter-species variation in sensitivity to OTNE to reduce the uncertainty of lab-to-field effect level extrapolations. “In other words, how might adding or subtracting specific species data from the existing dataset affect the overall data?” Lapczynski said.
Lapczynski will present the three posters on Monday, May 1, 2023.