Unit 4.2 - Integration of online databases in preparedness & response

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The sections below address the Hazardous and Noxious Substances Online Platform and two online databases (e.g. how to use them; their importance) elaborated by the Interdisciplinary Centre of Marine and Environmental Research (CIIMAR) of the University of Porto (Portugal): a) Hazardous and Noxious Substances Spill Incidents; b) Fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority Hazardous and Noxious Substances.


1. Hazardous and Noxious Substances Online Platform

The Hazardous and Noxious Substances Online Platform was elaborated by CIIMAR in the framework of the ARCOPOL Platform project (Platform for improving maritime coastal pollution preparedness and response in Atlantic regions) and can be accessed HERE. Therefore, this platform is available worldwide (e.g. for general public use) on the CIIMAR website.

Note: This online platform is hosted at CIIMAR's servers.


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IN THIS HNS ONLINE PLATFORM, WE CAN FIND:

  • Two online databases:
     * Hazardous and Noxious Substances Spill Incidents; 
     * Fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority Hazardous and Noxious Substances.
  • Guidelines and protocols on environmental monitoring;
  • Dissemination material (e.g. e-learning courses);
  • Tools for the Portuguese coast (e.g. an environmental sensitive index).


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This platform aims to support the preparedness and response to accidental spills (including Oil), in order to foster a more effective decision-making process.

2. Hazardous and Noxious Substances Spill Incidents - an online database

Information on previous spill incidents occurred at the sea worldwide involving HNS can be found in one online database (Hazardous and Noxious Substances Spill Incidents) elaborated by CIIMAR in the framework of the ARCOPOL plus project (Improving maritime safety and Atlantic Regions’ coastal pollution response through technology transfer, training and innovation).

To access this database: click HERE or select “HNS involved in former spill incidents” in the online platform .


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In this online database, an ADVANCED SEARCH can be done. It is possible to use queries to search by SHIP NAME, name of the HNS SPILLED, YEAR when the spill occurred or INCIDENT LOCATION.

The database contains 187 entries of HNS spilled in 119 incidents in marine waters around the world.

For each incident, the information systematized is divided into the following points:

  • HNS Spilt (Note: See the parameters analysed in the next picture);
  • Fate and weathering facts observed/reported;
  • Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS) (attached when available).


Example of the information systematized - case of BG Dublin incident:


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Thus, information on the fate and weathering of HNS accidentally spilled at sea around the world was compiled in this database and, to this end:

  • Data were analysed in terms of HNS physical behaviour in water according to SEBC (Standard European Behaviour Classification) code.
  • The most common products involved in accidental spills in the marine environment were identified.
  • Major lessons were highlighted.


The article ...

More information on the methodology used to produce this online database as well as the results, discussion and conclusions (e.g. major gaps, priorities and recommendations) obtained can be found in the following article:


3. Fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority Hazardous and Noxious Substances - an online tool

Information on fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority HNS in seawater and shoreline environments can be found in an online database (Fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority Hazardous and Noxious Substances) produced by CIIMAR in the framework of the ARCOPOL Platform project. This public database was recently updated through the MARINER project (Enhancing HNS preparedness through training and exercising).

To access this database: click HERE or select “Fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority HNS” in the online platform.


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In the database, it is possible to use queries to search by name of the HNS and behaviour at the sea.


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Besides the substance name and the behaviour at the seawater, the priority HNS (24) - initially selected from the HASREP (2005) list of the 100 HNS most transported in European Atlantic waters - are also identified by their CAS number and formulae.


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Parameters compiled

The parameters compiled in this database were as follows:


  • Physicochemical properties / Characteristics


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  • Fugacity / Persistence


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  • Physicochemical degradation/Biodegradation


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  • Bioaccumulation/Biotransformation


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  • Aquatic toxicity


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  • Acute Mammals / Human health effects


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  • Chronic Mammals / Human health effects


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  • Toxicity tests results
     * PNECseawater
     * PNECwater intermittent (= L(E)C50 divided by 100)

PNEC (Predicted no-effect concentration): concentration of a substance below which no adverse effects of exposure in an ecosystem are expected to occur, during long-term or short-term exposures.


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For each HNS, most of the following toxicity parameters are available for four taxonomic groups (Algae, Invertebrates, Fish and Mammals – click on “Algae”, “Invertebrates”, “Fish” or “Mammals” to observe these toxicity results):

  • EC50 (Effective concentration; 50%)
  • EC10 (Effective concentration; 10%)
  • EC3 (Effective concentration; 3%)
  • LC50 (Lethal concentration; 50%) - Statistically estimated concentration that is expected to be lethal to 50% of a group of organisms tested.
  • LD50 (Lethal dose; 50%) - The quantity of a chemical compound that, when applied directly to test organisms, is estimated to be fatal to 50% of those organisms under the stated conditions of the test.
  • ChV (Chronic Value) - Geometric mean of the LOEC and NOEC to characterize chronic toxicity.
  • LOEC (Lowest observed effect concentration)
  • NOEC (No observed effect concentration) - The highest concentration of toxicant to which organisms are exposed in a full or partial life-cycle (short-term) test, that causes no observable adverse effects on the test organisms.


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The information compiled in this database was obtained from:

  • The literature (e.g. GESAMP list (2016));
  • Several online databases (e.g. Environmental Fate Data Base (EFDB) from Syracuse Research Corporation (SRC));
  • Mathematical/modelling tools - through the Estimation Programs Interface (EPI) Suite™, developed by the US Environmental Protection Agency's Office of Pollution Prevention and Toxics and Syracuse Research Corporation (SRC).


NOTE: IN A NEAR FUTURE, this database will evolve to incorporate more priority HNS, beyond the 24 selected presently, as well as more detailed (eco)toxicological endpoints as they become available.

Endpoint: A specific biological effect or response which is used as an indicator of the effect of a chemical on the organism. For example, lethality or a change in enzyme function, etc. can be endpoints.


The article ...

More information on the methodology used to elaborate this online database as well as the results, discussion and conclusions (e.g. major gaps, priorities and recommendations) obtained can be found in the following article:



Link to MOHID HNS Spill Model

Some toxicological data (e.g. LC50) present in this database and considered essential for the HNS risk assessment were linked to the MOHID HNS Spill Model, allowing the determination of potential effects on the marine environment.

For more information on MOHID HNS Spill Model consul the following unit.

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4. Relevance of the online databases

The online database on previous incidents facilitates the incorporation of lessons from past incidents on the decision-making process to improve preparedness.

The public database on fate, weathering, behaviour and toxicity of priority HNS has the merit of assembling a brief and concise profile of 24 priority HNS. This database is a useful tool to develop more accurate HNS modelling tools and to predict the physicochemical behaviour of the priority HNS in accidental spills, also backing spill preparedness and effective decision-making process at the operational level. Additionally, this tool provides an important support to environmental and human health risk assessment (e.g. improve the predictions related to the potential hazards of HNS to the marine environment and associated resources such as fisheries, recreational areas, etc.), and monitoring actions.

Concluding, the information systematized in the online databases explained above (e.g. physicochemical and toxicological properties of HNS) is important to assist stakeholders involved in HNS spills preparedness and response (e.g. in the upgrading of HNS pollutant responses protocols and/or waste management protocols, etc.), policymakers and legislators. Moreover, these tools contribute to a current picture of the scientific knowledge on the fate, behaviour, weathering and toxicity of HNS, being essential to support future improvements in maritime safety and coastal pollution response before, during and after spill incidents.


References

Cedre (2009). Review of chemical spills at sea and lessons learnt. INTERSPILL 2009 Conference White Paper Technical Appendix. Marseille, France (40 pp.).

Cunha I, Moreira S, Santos MM (2015). Review on hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) involved in marine spill incidents - an online database. Journal of Hazardous Materials 285: 509-516.

Cunha I, Oliveira H, Neuparth T, Torres T, Santos M (2016). Fate, behaviour and weathering of priority HNS in the marine environment: an online tool. Marine Pollution Bulletin 111 (1-2): 330-8.

GESAMP Composite List (2016). ANNEX 5 – UPDATED GESAMP COMPOSITE LIST. Available at: https://edocs.imo.org/Final Documents/English/PPR 1-CIRC.3 (E).docx (accessed April 12, 2017).

HASREP (2005). Response to harmful substances spilt at sea. Prepared by the Alliance of Maritime Regional Influences in Europe (AMRIE) Centre de Documentation, de Recherche et d'Expérimentations Sur Les Pollutions Accidentelles Des Eaux. (CEDRE) and TNO Built Environment and Geosciences, The Netherlands (38 pp.).

Mayo-Bean K, Moran K, Meylan B, Ranslow P (2012). Methodology Document for the Ecological Structure-Activity Relationship Model (ECOSAR). Class Program. (30 p.) Available at: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/ecosartechfinal.pdf (accessed April 13, 2017).

Neuparth T, Moreira S, Santos MM, Reis-Henriques MA (2011). Hazardous and noxious substances (HNS) in the marine environment: prioritizing HNS that pose major risk in a European context. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62: 21–28.

Neuparth T, Moreira SM, Santos MM, Reis-Henriques MA (2012). Review of oil and HNS accidental spills in Europe: identifying major environmental monitoring gaps and drawing priorities. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64: 1085-1095.