Nontarget Analysis for Environmental Risk Assessment

More than 159 million substances are currently listed in Chemical Abstract Service, the world’s largest chemical database, with a large proportion being synthetic organic compounds. Around 15,000 substances are added each day, and this rapid growth is likely to continue. Traditional approaches for identifying contaminants in the environment are poorly equipped to address the rapid and continual introduction of new chemicals in commerce. Nontarget analysis surmounts previous limitations by providing a dynamic, reproducible and high-throughput approach for generating detailed information on chemicals in the environment, which can enable informed decision-making and management. The goal of this meeting is to move nontarget screening and its application forward in the context of environmental assessment by involving stakeholders from all sectors.

The meeting is specifically designed to allow for:

  • Interaction among researchers from different disciplines, including chemical analysis, (eco-)toxicology, environmental chemistry and chemo-informatics, to develop a science-based framework for identification and prioritization of unknown chemicals that covers both their presence and effects in the environment.
  • Strategizing between researchers who carry out experimental, lab- or field-based research on nontarget screening and transformation products identification with computer scientists and modelers to attune data needs and data generation strategies with a goal to develop evaluation tools
  • International collaborations between scientists from research settings and scientists and stakeholders from industry and regulatory bodies involved in compound registrations and regulations to discuss the practical applicability of the science

The meeting will have a mixed format with keynote lectures, oral and poster presentations, and breakout discussion and demonstration groups. The meeting will intensely cover nontarget screening approaches, from the analytical technology, to application in real-field studies and implementation in risk assessment. The meeting will include three main topics:

  • Frontiers in nontarget screening: Instrumentation, data evaluation and application to monitoring the water environment
  • Identifying transformation products and metabolites formed in biological and technical systems
  • Tools to prioritize identification: Statistics, exposure indices, toxicity, fate modeling

Attendees will be asked to participate in breakout groups to demonstrate open-source tools to identify unknowns, discuss prioritization tools and exchange data on unknowns.

A diverse program committee has been selected for their expertise in their respective areas.