Eff-Net: A multi-scale effect network for hazard identification and risk evaluation of high consumption chemicals in aquatic ecosystems - Drugs, pharmaceuticals and food additives - from receptors to biodiversity
EFF-Net is a multi- and transdisciplinary project that intends to generate a toolbox for multi-scale chemical effects as a basis for a holistic effect-based risk evaluation, and for sociocultural governance aiming at personal and political responsibility as well as a reduction of emissions of hazardous chemicals into aquatic environments. The focus is on the development of a multi-scale network for the identification and evaluation of the biological hazards posed by emerging high-consumption chemicals showing up as micropollutants in aquatic ecosystems. With publicly available food additives and prescription antidiabetic and neuroactive pharmaceuticals as examples, the project aims at developing a network of effects to characterize and analyze substances in the environment not only with respect to their concentrations in water and biota, but also – and in particular – to their biological effects as well as to their relevance and long-term impacts on aquatic environments. The suite of biological endpoints ranges from molecular markers to biodiversity, the latter represented by investigations on the limits of resilience or stability of microbial diversity within biota and in aquatic systems. The understanding of toxicological and ecological mechanisms will be translated into the development and evaluation of effective measures in the socioeconomic and political context aiming at the implementation of scientific knowledge into society. Thereby, Eff-Net crosses the borders between (natural and socio-political) science and public interest by providing an analytical network which gives insight into the cross-linking of consumer behavior and ecological impact.
Grant provided by the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts of the State of Baden-Württemberg.