Skip to main content

Persistence and Spatial Range of Environmental Chemicals: New Ethical and Scientific Concepts for Risk Assessment

Persistence and Spatial Range of Environmental Chemicals: New Ethical and Scientific Concepts for Risk Assessment

Martin Scheringer

ISBN: 978-3-527-60746-4 May 2006 308 Pages


Using conventional methodology, chemical risk assessment for the hundreds of thousands of chemicals currently in use is a near-impossible task. Martin Scheringer has pioneered the development of a new concept based on the criteria of persistence and spatial range, and in this book he provides the first coherent introduction. The concept simplifies the assessment of chemicals while still providing meaningful evaluation criteria.
The author outlines the features of persistence and spatial range as measures of environmental threats before going on to explain the quantification of these criteria. One unique feature of this book is that it covers both scientific and ethical aspects, since scientific arguments are necessary, yet insufficient for political decisions. A glossary of terms aids comprehension of this interdisciplinary topic, while numerous references provide access to the primary literature.
Essential reading for everybody needing to stay in touch with the progress being made in scientific research on environmental chemicals or the current debate on international policy negotiations.
Connecting Environmental Chemistry and Ethics.

Unresolved Problems in Environmental Risk Assessment of Chemicals.

Overcomplexity and Normative Indeterminacy of Environmental Systems.

Environmental Chemicals, Temporal and Spatial Range, and Environmental Justice.

Persistence and Spatial Range as Measures of Environmental Threat.

Methods for Calculating Persistence and Spatial Range.

Multi-Media Box Models for Persistence and Spatial Range.

Characterizing Chemicals by Means of Persistence and Spatial Range.

Persistent Organic Pollutants.

Implications for the Assessment of Chemicals.

Appendix: Mathematical Treatment of Multi-Media Box Models.




"In any case, the book describes a concept that is valuable from both scientific and environmental policy viewpoints, and thus makes an important contribution to the further development of the risk assessment for environmental chemicals."

Gerrit Schüürmann, Department Chemische Ökotoxikologie, UFZ-Umweltforschungszentrum, Leipzig-Halle, Leipzig
Angewandte Chemie IE 11/04